(2039) Antigone antigone sharpei.
THE BURMESE SAINTS.
Grus sharpii Blanf., Bull. B. O.C., v, p. 7 (1895) (Burma); Blanf. & Oates, iv, p. 189.
Vernacular names Gyo-gya (Burm.); Kur-sang (Assam); Wolnu, Woinuren (Manipur).
Description. The plumage generally is rather darker than in the preceding race. There is no white ring of feathers at the base of the neck and the inner secondaries are practically the same colour as the back.
Colours of soft parts as in the Indian Sarus.
Measurements. Wing 600 to 675 mm.
Distribution. Assam East of Kamrup, Burma, Siam and Cochin China. It also occurs in the Malay Peninsula.
Nidification. Nest and eggs of this Crane so exactly resemble those of the preceding bird that no further description of them is needed. The country in which they are found, however, sometimes differs in being much more forested. Wardlaw Ramsay and Oates found it laying in August and September but in Assam we took eggs in June and July, Its early breeding in Assam may be due to the early breaking of the Rains in that province and to the naturally wet and marshy nature of the country. The eleven eggs I have seen average 101.1 x 63.8 mm.; maxima 108.8 x 63.8 and 103.6 x 68.0 mm.; minima 97.3 x 64.8 and 98.5 x 58.5 mm. I have seen no pure white eggs of this race. Birds from which I took eggs in Margherita made no defence of the nest and no protest beyond trumpeting as they flew away.
Habits. Quite similar in most respects to those of the preceding race but it is often found in marshes and plains of no great extent near forest and it seems to be a far more shy, wild bird, very wary and very hard to approach close enough for a shot. I have seen them occasionally in Lakhimpur feeding in the rice-fields in pairs but always on the look out and always rising long before one could possibly shoot at them. They seemed to rise far more easily than their Indian cousins, a few strides forward with spread wings and they were away and soon mounted two or three hundred feet into the air. Their high-flying propensities are no doubt due to their living in more forested countries than the Indian birds. Their beautiful trumpet call is that of the genus and is a fine sound when it rings out on the early dawn of a clear Indian winter morning.