(42) Garrulus bispecularis bispecularis.
THE HIMALAYAN JAY.
Garrulus bispecularis Vigors, P. Z. S., 1831, p. 7 (Himalayas); Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 39. I restrict the type-locality to Murree, Punjab.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. A broad black moustachial band; lower part of rump, upper and lower tail-coverts, vent and thighs white ; with these exceptions the whole plumage of the head, neck and body is a rich vinaceous fawn-colour; tail black, with some interrupted ashy bars near the base of the central pair of feathers : wings as in leucotis.
Colours of soft parts. Bill dusky; margins of eyelids dull brick-red; iris reddish brown; tarsi and toes pale pinkish fleshy; claws livid. (Scully.)
Measurements. Length about 300 mm.; wing 160 to 178 mm.: tail about 180 mm.; tarsus about 32 mm.; culmen about 26 mm.
Distribution. Western Himalayas from Cashmere to Nepal and Garhwal.
Nidification. Breeds in April, May and June, making a nest of twigs and roots, lined either with grass or with finer roots and sometimes having a little moss on the exterior. In shape it varies from a shallow to a deep cup some 6" to 8" in diameter and it is placed in a fork of some small tree, near the top. Chestnuts and oaks seem to be specially favoured. It breeds up to 7,000 feet or higher and sometimes as low as 3,000 feet.
The eggs number four or five and are like those of lanceolatus but more boldly speckled and often more reddish in the groundcolour and markings. They measure 27.5 x 21.4 mm.
Habits. The Himalayan Jay is a resident bird throughout the range between 3,000 and 7,000 feet, perhaps moving up and down a little in summer and winter. It haunts forest of all kinds, both evergreen and deciduous, and in general habits it closely resembles the Black-throated Jay.