(8) Corvus coronoides andamanensis.
THE ANDAMAN JUNGLE-CROW.
Corvus andamanensis Tytler, Beavan, Ibis, 1866, p. 420 (Pt. Blair,
An damans). Corvus macrorhynchus. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 17.
Vernacular names. Kak-sorai, Jungla Kak-sorai (Assamese); Hagrani Dao-ka (Cachari) ; Inrui-kak (Kacha Naga) ; Vo-kak (Kuki) ; Taw-chegan (Burmese) ; Kwak (Siamese).
Description. This race is distinguished from the Himalayan bird by its long, very stout bill and from the other races by its greater size.
Measurements. Wing about 325 mm.; the males run from 304 to 345 mm. and the females from about 290 to 321 mm. The bill is very long, never under 58, generally well over 60 and running up to 70 mm., the average being about 65 mm. In addition to its length it is stouter and heavier than in any other form.
Distribution. Andamans, Assam, Burma, and North and West Siam. I cannot find any satisfactory character which suffices to separate the Andaman birds from the others. In all the island adults the bases to the feathers are very pure white, whereas in the Assam and Burmese birds they range from almost pure black to more than equally pure white. .Northern birds have more white than southern, but even this is only a question of degree in average.
Nidification. In Assam and N. Burma almost entirely a jungle bird; in Central and Lower Burma it frequents the neighbourhood of human habitations more freely, occasionally building its nest in towns and villages. The nest is the neatest and best built of any made by Crows, and I have seen specimens made entirely of moss and moss roots and so neatly lined with hair and fur that they would have been a credit to any bird architect. The eggs number four to six and differ from those of intermedins in being duller, browner and darker in their general tint and being somewhat broader in proportion to their length. They average 43.1 x31.6 mm. In Assam and Upper Burma the breeding season is during April and May but in Lower Burma and Siam January and February are the laying months.
Habits. These do not differ from those of the other Jungle-Crows, but over a considerable portion of their northern range they are shy, retiring birds, generally frequenting heavy forest and never scavenging round about villages. Each pair has its own territory over which it hunts and in the breeding season it is most destructive to other birds' eggs and young. It ascends the hills up to some 6,000 feet but is not common above this height, though it wanders up to 8,00.0 or even 9,000 feet. It occurs all over the plains except, perhaps, in the driest portions of Central Burma.