536. Sturnia sinensis.
The Chinese Myna.
Oriolus sinensis, Gm. Syst. Nat. i, p. 394 (1788). Pastor elegans, Lesson, Voy. Belanqer, p. 266, pl. 6 (1834). Sturnia cana, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xiii, p. 365 (1844) ; id. Cat. p. 110. Sturnia sinensis (Gm.), Hume, S. F. vii, p. 514; id. Cat. no. 688 ter; id. S. F. ix, p. 118; Oates, S. F. x, p. 229; id. B. B. i, p. 384; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 267; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xiii, p. 68.
Coloration. The forehead, crown, lores, round the eye, the chin, rump, and upper tail-coverts rosy ferruginous ; the nape and the whole back deep grey ; sides of neck, throat, breast, and abdomen grey, lighter than the back ; flanks, under tail-coverts, axillaries, and under wing-coverts rosy ferruginous ; ear-coverts grey tinged with ferruginous; wings, primary-coverts, and winglet black, the tertiaries suffused with metallic blue, the other feathers edged with the same ; wing-coverts and scapulars white, suffused with rosy ferruginous; tail black, the middle pair of feathers narrowly, the others broadly, tipped with ferruginous.
Some time after the moult the beautiful rose-colour fades to white, or is present in only a very slight degree.
Bill blue ; the mouth darker blue ; iris white ; legs plumbeous ; claws horn-colour.
Length 8 ; tail 2.6 ; wing 4; tarsus 11. ; bill from gape 1.05.
Distribution. I procured this species in Lower Pegu in the winter season on several occasions. Hume observed it in Manipur on one occasion, but failed to secure a specimen. It occurs at Singapore and in Cochin China and breeds in Southern China.
Habits, &c. Pere David states that this species breeds in holes on the roofs of houses. The few specimens I procured in Pegu were feeding on the ground in company with others.