(954) Oriolus chinensis indicus.
The Indian Black-naped Oriole.
Oriolus indicus Jerdon, III. Ind. Orn., pi. 15 (1847) (Malabar); Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 502.
Vernacular names. Not usually distinguished from the more common Orioles. Pilak (Hind.).
Description. - Adult male. Lores and a streak through the eye meeting in a band on the nape black; primary-coverts black with broad yellow tips; primaries black, all but the first with narrow white edges and tips; secondaries black with broad golden-yellow margins, the innermost entirely yellow on the outer web ; tail black, the central rectrices narrowly tipped yellow, the lateral with broad yellow tips increasing to about half the length of the feather on the outermost; remainder of plumage golden yellow.
Colours of soft parts. Iris blood-pink ; eyelids paler ; bill livid pink, brighter in summer; legs and feet dark plumbeous, claws black.
Measurements. Total length about 260 mm.; wing 147 to 155 mm.; tail 89 to 95 mm.; tarsus about 24 mm.; culmen 28 to 31 mm.
Female. Much duller than the male; the back and, almost always, the forehead and crown are tinged with green ; the black of the wing-quills and rectrices is mora brown and the tail is suffused with green; in all but very old females the breast is faintly streaked with blackish.
Colours of soft parts as in the male but duller.
Measurements about the same as in the male.
The Young male is like the female but has no trace of the black loreal and nuchal band; the underparts and breast are paler, more whitish and are heavily streaked with black from the breast to the vent. The iris dull grey-blue at first, dull pinkish grey at a later stage; the bill is dark brown or slaty-brown.
Nestling. The yellow above replaced with dull greenish faintly streaked with brown ; the nape and head is more yellow and more definitely streaked; below white suffused with lemon and with broad central streaks of black; under tail-coverts golden yellow.
Distribution. This Oriole breeds in the northern parts of Eastern China, Manchuria and Korea, west to Dauria and Usuri-land. South it breeds throughout Southern China and also in Hainan and Formosa and it is possible that it also breeds in Yunnan, the Northern Shan and Kachin Hills at about 5,000 feet. In "Winter the birds migrate from their more northern altitudes and then come freely into the Indo-Chinese country, the Malay Peninsula and Southern Burma, straggling thence in smaller numbers to Northern Burma, Assam, North-Eastern India and thence again South to Madras, the Malabar Coast, Travancore and Ceylon.
Nidification. Mr. J. D. La Touche found this Oriole breeding in Chinwangtao in North-East Chihli in June and July and obtained nests both at Shanhaikwan and in the mountains in the vicinity. He also found it breeding freely in Fohkien. Three eggs given by him to me have the ground-colour a warm salmon-pink, the primary spots being rich red and the subsidiary blotches dark neutral tint. They measure 31.4 x 22.0, 30.4 x 20.8 and 28.2 x 21-8 mm. Mr. La Touche gives the average of twelve eggs as 1.12 x .82 inches. The nest Mr. La Touche describes as being very similar to that of the European Oriole and says that the bird breeds in gardens close to houses.
Habits. Quite typical of the Orioles, frequenting gardens and open, cultivated country and having the usual liquid notes and dipping flight.