537. Sturnia blythii.
Pastor blythii, Jerd. Madr. Journ. L. S. xiii, p. 133 (1844) ; id. Ill. Ind, Orn. pl. 22. Sturnia blythii (Jerd.), Blyth, Cat. p. 110; Hume, Cat. no. 689; id. S. F. ix, p. 228; Butler, S. F. ix, p. 237 ; Davison, S. F. x, p. 401; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 257 ; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 371. Temenuchus blythii (Jerd.), Horsf. & M. Cat. ii, p. 531; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 331. Poliopsar blythii (Jerd.), Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xiii, p. 54.
The White-headed Myna, Jerd.
Coloration. Head, neck, and upper breast pure white ; back and scapulars grey; rump and upper tail-coverts rufous grey ; wing-coverts brown, edged with grey ; primaries black, tipped with grey ; remaining quills black, broadly edged with grey; middle pair of tail-feathers hoary grey, narrowly tipped with chestnut, the others more, and more tipped with chestnut, the outermost feather being chestnut on fully the terminal half; lower plumage cinnamon-rufous ; under wing-coverts and axillaries pale ashy white.
The young bird is plain brown above and paler brown beneath; tail marked with chestnut as in the adult.
Iris greyish white; legs and feet brownish olive; bill blue at base, greenish in the middle, yellow at tip (Butler).
Length about 8.5; tail 2.7 ; wing 4; tarsus .95; bill from gape 1.
Butler is of opinion that the female of this species differs from the male. The only sexed females in the British-Museum series certainly have brown heads, and so far differ from the males, but one of these female specimens is acquiring pure white feathers on the forehead; and I am consequently of opinion that the sexes are alike when fully adult, and that Butler failed to secure any adult females. I know of no instance amongst the Starlings of the sexes being strikingly different.
Distribution. Southern India, and apparently a local migrant. Butler obtained this species near Belgaum from June to October, Davison in the Wynaad in May, and Bourdillon in Travancore in March. It does not appear to be found above about 2000 feet of elevation. It extends east as far as Manjarabad in Mysore.
Habits, &c. Breeds in Mysore in April. The eggs measure about 1 by .71.