(975) Sturnus vulgaris minor.
The Small Indian Stabling.
Sturnus minor Hume, Str. Feath,, 1873, p. 207 (Larkhana, Sind) ; Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 522.
Vernacular names. Choto Kharo Nhakeo (Sind).
Description. Gloss. Head, throat and upper breast green; remainder of upper plumage purple; wings bronze-green; lower breast purple, abdomen bronze-green.
Colours of soft parts. " Iris in male brown, in female whitish; bill yellow, dusky at the tip ; legs and feet claret-brown " (Doig). In Winter the bill is dusky.
Measurements. Wing 108 to 115 mm. “Up to 120 mm." (Ticehurst).
Distribution. A resident race in Sind. Once found at Etawah by Brooks in 1872.
Nidification. The Small Indian Starling breeds in Sind from the middle of March to the middle of May, laying their eggs in holes in "Kandi" trees (Prosopis spicigera). They make a nest pad of grass and feathers and lay from three to five eggs, generally four, which are of the usual type but very small. According to Oates they vary from 25.4 to 30.0 mm. in length and from 18.0 to 20.8 mm. in breadth. The smallest egg in my collection is 25.0 x 19.0 mm.
Habits. This little Starling is very local in its habitat, apparently being only found within the close vicinity of water, either rivers,, canals or swamps and leaving the latter in specially dry seasons. According to Scrope Doig " the total lengths of their breeding-ground in any district must be close on 200 miles, but entirely confined to the banks of the rivers. If you looked four miles from the river, one side or the other, you would not see one." Their flight, food and voice are all similar to those of the other Starlings.