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The Nests and Eggs of Indian Birds - A. O. Hume

The Nests and Eggs of Indian Birds   (Volume 1) Second Edition 1889  -  by  Allan O. Hume

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Page 3c

Order PASSERES     Family CORVIDAE     Subfamily CORVINAE

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8. Corvus insolens, (Hume). Burmese House Crow

Corvus insolens; (Hume); Hume, Cat. no. 663 bis.

The Burmese House Crow breeds pretty well over the whole of Burma.

Mr. Oates, writing from Pegu, says: "Nesting operations are commenced about the 20th March. The nest and eggs require no separate description, for both appear to be similar to those of C. splendens."

When large series of the eggs of both these species are compared, those of the Burmese Crow strike one as averaging somewhat brighter colored, otherwise they are precisely alike and need no separate description.

9. Corvus monedula, Linn. Jackdaw

Colaeus monedula (Linn.), Jerdon B. Ind. ii, p. 302.
Corvus monedula, (Linn.), Hume, Rough Draft N. & E. no. 665.

I only know positively of Jackdaws breeding in one district within our limits, viz. Kashmir; but I have seen it in the hills in summer, as far east as the Valley of the Beas, and it must breed everywhere in suitable localities between the two.

In the cold season of course the Jackdaw descends into the plains of the North-west Punjab, is very numerous near the foot of the hills, and has been found in cis-Indus as far east as Ambala, and south at Ferozepur, Jhelum, and Kalabagh. In Trans-Indus it extends unto the Dehra Ghazi Khan district. I have never taken its eggs myself.

Mr. W. Theobald makes the following remarks on its nidification in the Valley of Kashmir:

"Lays in the first week of May; eggs four, five, and six in number, ovato-pyriform and long ovato-pyriform, measuring from 126, 145, to 160 in length, and from 09 to 100 in breadth; colour pale, clear bluish green, dotted and spotted with brownish black; valley generally; in holes of rocks, beneath roofs, and in tall trees."

Dr. Jerdon says: "It builds in Kashmir in old ruined palaces, holes in rocks, beneath roofs of houses, and also in tall trees, laying four to six eggs, pale bluish green, clotted and spotted with brownish black."

Mr. Brookes writes: "The Jackdaw breeds in Kashmir in all suitable places: holes in old Chinar (Plane) trees, and in house-walls, under the eaves of houses, etc. I did not note the materials of the nests, but these will be the same as in England."

The eggs of this species are typically rather elongated ovals, somewhat compressed towards one end. The shell is fine, but has only a faint gloss. The ground-colour is a pale greenish white, but in some eggs there is very little green, while in a very few the ground is quite a bright green. The markings, sometimes very fine and close, sometimes rather bold and thinly set, consist of specks or spots of deep blackish brown, olive-brown, and pale inky purple. In most eggs all these colors are represented, but in some eggs the olive-, in others the blackish-brown is almost entirely wanting. In some eggs the markings are very dense towards the large end, in others they are pretty uniformly distributed over the whole surface; in some they are very minute and speckly, in others they average the tenth of an inch in diameter.

The eggs that I possess vary from 134 to 152 in length, and from 093 to 102 in breadth; but the average of sixteen eggs was 14 by 098.

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