529. Sturnus humii.
The Himalayan Starling.
Sturnus indicus, Hodgs. in Gray's Zool. Misc. p. 84 (1844, descr. nulla); Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xiii, p. 35 (1889). Sturnus splendens, Bonap. Consp. Av. i, p. 421 (1850, ex Temm. MS., descr. nulla). Sturnus unicolor, Marmora, apnd. Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 322. Sturnus nitens, Hume, Ibis, 1871, p. 410 (nec Brehm); Hume & Headers. Lah. to Yark. p. 250, pl. xxiv ; Hume, N. & E. p. 425 ; id. S. F. iii, p. 409; id. Cut. no. 682; id. S. F. viii, p. 174. Sturnus humii, Brooks, Ibis, Oct. 1870, p. 500; id. S. F. viii, p. 487 ; Gould, B. Asia, v (descr., nec fig. 43 = S. menzbieri); Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2ndved. i, p 369. Sturnus ambiguus, Hume, S. F. iv, p. 512 (Dec. 1870), v, p. 238.
The Glossy Black Starling, Jerd.
Coloration. Summer. Black with a few fulvous specks, which are sometimes absent on the flanks; wings and tail brown, edged with velvety black; under wing-coverts dark brown, edged with white.
Winter. All the feathers of the upper plumage and wing-coverts tipped with buff, the head alone in some old birds being spotless or nearly so ; sides of head and lower plumage black, with large whitish tips to the feathers of the flanks, lower abdomen, and under tail-coverts.
Gloss. Forehead, crown, naps, and sides of head purplish blue, ear-coverts greenish ; throat, neck, upper breast, and back coppery red; rump, scapulars, wings, and abdomen bronze-green.
The nestling is pale brown above and on the sides of the head and neck ; lower plumage whitish streaked with brown; sides of the body uniformly brown.
At the first autumn the colours and gloss of the adult are assumed, but the terminal spots on the feathers remain very large and numerous over the entire upper plumage, and the spots on the lower plumage are also large, round, and pure white. In the first spring these tips are in great measure cast off, but some few remain throughout the first summer.
Bill yellow ; legs and feet reddish brown (Hume).
Length about 7.5; tail 2.2; wing 4.6; tarsus 1.15 ; bill from gape 1.25.
Distribution. Kashmir and the Himalayas to Nepal, occasionally descending in winter to the plains, specimens having been procured at Dinapore and Etawah, and in Sind. This species also occurs in the extreme north-west of the Punjab, where it breeds. It extends to Kandahar.
Habits, &c. Breeds in the Punjab and in Kashmir in April and May, in holes of willow-trees, &c. The eggs measure about 1.13 by .83.