(776) Dicrurus leucophaeus minimus.
The Ceylon Grey Drongo.
Dicrurus leucophaeus minimus Stuart Baker, Nov. Zool., xxv, p. 296 (1918) (Ceylon). Dicrurus longicaudatus. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 314 (part.).
Vernacular names. Erata-valan-huravi (Tam.)
Description. A small, rather dark bird with a comparatively short tail.
Measurements. Wing 120 to 135 mm., average 131-0 mm.; tail 133 to 147 mm., average 139 mm.; culmen 21 to 22 mm.
Distribution. Ceylon and South of Travancore.
The Javan race, the true D. leucophaeus leucophaeus, is a small very pale form with a comparatively very short tail. Wing average 127 mm.; tail average 123 mm.
Nidification. Not recorded. This bird probably does not breed in Ceylon, and both Messrs. Waite and Phillips assure me that Legge was quite correct in saying that it is a non-breeding migrant only. On the other hand, there is a very small dark Drongo which does breed in the extreme South of Travancore, smaller and darker than specimens from N. Travancore and Malabar. This bird is exactly the same as the Ceylon one and has the same short tail. For the present therefore I retain minimus as a subspecies, pending further material for comparison.
Two eggs sent me from Travancore measure 21.7 X 17.8 mm.
Habits. Those of the species but it is more of a forest-bird than any of the Northern forms. Legge speaks of it as almost entirely a forest-haunting King-Crow, and Mr. J. Stewart says that his own experience corroborates this in South Travancore.