Genus STURNIA

The genus Sturnia contains six Indian species with soft silky plumage. They are more arboreal than the true Starlings, being found constantly on trees, feeding on insects and the nectar contained in flowers; but they also feed on the ground a good deal. They go in flocks and have chattering notes.

In Sturnia the sexes are alike, and the young are brown till the first autumn. The bill is shorter than the head, slender, with the culmen slightly curved; the nasal membrane is plumed; the tail is wedge-shaped, the middle pair of feathers being longer than the others.

Five of the species which I include in this genus are placed by Sharpe in the genus Spodiopsar, but they appear to me to be absolutely congeneric with the sixth species, S. sinensis, which is the type of the genus Sturnia.

The Mynas of this genus make their nests in holes of trees, and one species also in the roofs of houses.

Key to the Species.

a. Lower plumage more or less rufous.
a1. Upper wing-coverts and scapulars white tinged rosy, contrasting with grey hack………………S. sinensis, p. 526.
b1. Upper wing-coverts and scapulars not white but closely resembling back.
a2. Whole head white………………S. blythii, p. 526.
b2. Whole head grey or grey tinged rufous.
a3. Winglet and primary – coverts black………………S. malabarica, p. 527.
b3. Winglet and primary-coverts entirely or in part white………………S. nemoricola, p. 528.
b. Lower plumage pure white.
c1. Under tail-coverts white………………S. andamanensis, p. 529.
d1. Under tail-coverts deep chestnut………………S. erythropygia, p. 529.

BookTitle: 
The Fauna Of British India including Ceylon and Burma
Reference: 
OATES EW. The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Vol.1 1889.
Title in Book: 
Genus STURNIA
Book Author: 
Eugene William Oates, Edited by William Thomas Blanford
Year: 
1889
Page No: 
525
M_ID: 
26821
M_SN: 
Sturnia
Volume: 
Vol. 1
Term name: 
id: 
730

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