(18) Pica pica bottanensis.
THE BLACK-BUMPED MAGPIE.
Pica bottanensis Delessert, Rev. Zool., 1840, p. 100 (Butan); Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 25.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Similar to the Common Magpie, but with the rump entirely black. It is much larger, with a shorter tail. Colours of soft parts as in P. p. bactriana.
Measurements. Length about 525 mm.; wing from 225 to 270 mm., generally over 250 mm.; tail from 250 to 300 mm.; tarsus 56 mm.; culmen about 80 to 85 mm.
Distribution. Sikkim, Bhutan and East Tibet to Kansu.
Nidification. This fine Magpie breeds both in Sikkim and South and East Tibet at heights over 10,000 feet and up to nearly 15,000 feet The nest is similar to that of the Common Magpie but is often placed comparatively low down in thorn-bushes. The eggs number from four to six in a full clutch, and are rather dark as a series but otherwise like those of other species of Pica. They are very big and forty-eight eggs average 38.7x26.7 mm.
The birds breed from early April, when there is still snow about, through May and rarely, possibly a second time, in June.
Habits. Similar to those of other birds of the genus.