(39) Garrulus lanceolatus.
THE BLACK-THROATED JAY.
Garrulus lanceolatus Vigors, P. Z. S., 1830, p. 7 (Himalayas); Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 38.
Vernacular names. Ban-sarrah (of the Simla hillmen).
Description. Forehead, crown, nape, crest and sides of the head black ; remainder of upper plumage vinous grey, brighter ou the rump and upper tail-coverts; tail blue, barred with black, tipped with white and with a broad subterminal band of black; primaries and secondaries black, barred with blue on the outer web; the primaries narrowly, the outer secondaries broadly tipped white ; the inner secondaries grey, with a subterminal black band and a white tip; lesser coverts vinous, the median and greater black; primary coverts almost entirely white; winglet barred with blue and tipped with white.
Chin, throat and foreneck black with white shaft-streaks, the black terminating in a patch of iron grey on the upper breast; remainder of the lower plumage and sides of the neck vinous grey, brighter than the back.
Colours of soft parts. Legs and feet livid flesh or slaty pink; claws more horny; bill slaty pink at base, yellowish at tip; iris red-brown, red or deep red-lake. The colour of the iris probably changes with age.
Measurements. Length about 225 to 235 mm.; wing 150 to 155 mm. ; tail about 160 to 175 mm.; tarsus 32 to 34 mm.: culmen about 27 mm.
Distribution. The Himalayas from Chitral and Hazara to Nepal and the whole of Garhwal and Kashmir up to some 8,000 feet.
Nidification. Breeds from the middle of April to early June at heights between 4,000 and 8,000 feet, making a shallow cup-shaped nest of twigs and roots, more rarely of grass, lined with moss, fern rachides, or fine roots. It is generally placed in a small oak or other tree, 10 to 30 feet from the ground in thin forest. The eggs vary from three to six, generally four or five. In colour they vary from pale yellowish stone to pale greenish, finely stippled everywhere with olive-brown and, more seldom, with a few hairlines of black. They measure about 28.6x22.6 mm.
Habits. The Black-throated Jay is a bird of forests but of the thinner more open parts, venturing often into comparatively un-wooded tracts. Like the European Jay its voice is loud, harsh and penetrating, and it is a noisy bird, more especially in the mornings and evenings in the breeding season. It is omnivorous, eating fruit and insects, small mammals, birds and reptiles and other birds' eggs. Its flight is like that of its European cousin and it indulges in the same flappings and contortions when on the wing.
Key to Subspecies.
A. Crown all black G.l. leucotis, p. 61,
B. Crown white, narrowly streaked with black .. G.L oatesi, p. 62.