668. Merula kinnisi

668. Merula kinnisi.

The Ceylon Blackbird.

Merula kinnisii, Kelaart, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xx, p. 177 (1851); id. Ibis, 1867, p. 304; Hume, Cat, no. 360 bis; Seebohm, Cat. B. M. v, p. 252 ; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 90. Turdus kinnisi (Blyth), Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 449.

Coloration. Male. Upper plumage black, each feather with a bluish-grey margin at all seasons apparently; quills and wing-coverts black, with similar margins ; tail black, the feathers with narrow and less distinct bluish-grey margins; lower plumage slaty brown, each feather with a pale margin.

Female. The small series of this bird in the British Museum appears to consist entirely of males. Legge thus describes the female :—Above dark bluish slate, pervaded with brownish on the head, the margins of all the feathers black ; outer webs of primaries and secondaries washed with brownish slaty ; tail blackish brown; beneath slaty washed with earthy brown, the feathers of the abdomen sometimes with light shaft-streaks; under wing-coverts edged with earthy brown.

In the male the iris is pale brown ; eyelid and bill orange-yellow ; legs and feet paler yellow than the bill; claws yellowish horny. In the female the bill is yellowish orange ; eyelid yellow; legs and feet pale yellow (Legge).

Length about 9.5 ; tail 3.6 to 4; wing 4.3 to 4.5; tarsus 1.3; bill from gape 1.2.

This species differs from M. maxima in being very much smaller and in having yellow feet; from M. simillima in being smaller and blacker; from M. bourdilloni also in being smaller, and in having the feathers of the upper plumage margined with bluish grey; and from M. erythrotis in having the whole head black or brown.

Distribution. A resident in the forests of Ceylon above 2500 feet elevation. Breeds from April to June, constructing a cup-shaped nest in trees, and laying four eggs, which are pale green marked with reddish-brown and umber, and measure about 1.05 by .82.

The Fauna Of British India including Ceylon and Burma
OATES EW. The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Vol.2 1890.
Title in Book: 
668. Merula kinnisi
Book Author: 
Eugene William Oates, Edited by William Thomas Blanford
Page No: 
Common name: 
Ceylon Black Bird
Turdus simillimus kinnisii
Vol. 2
Term name: 

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