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Southern Hill Myna

From Opus

Photo by Mike BarthThattekad, Kerala, India, March 2011
Photo by Mike Barth
Thattekad, Kerala, India, March 2011
Gracula indica


[edit] Identification

23 - 25cm (9-9¾ in) . A medium-sized, black myna.

  • Bare yellow patch below eye and line of bare yellow skin behind eye backwards around nape and as a line to the crown, extending into two pendulous wattles
  • Mostly black plumage with some purple gloss and turquoise to bronzy sheen
  • Black wing with white patch
  • Brown eye
  • Orange to red bill
  • Chrome-yellow legs

Sexes similar. Juveniles are less glossy and have smaller wattles.

[edit] Distribution

Found in southwest India (Western Ghats) and southern Sri Lanka.
Common in parts of its range.

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species.
It was formerly included in Common Hill Myna.

[edit] Habitat

Woodland, evergreen or deciduous forest, forest edge, also disturbed areas (with some large trees remaining). Occurs from the lowlands up to the hills, locally up to 2000m.

[edit] Behaviour

Feeds mainly on fruit and nectar. Takes sometimes also insects and other small animals (up to small lizards).
Usually seen in pairs or small groups.

[edit] Breeding

Breeding season differs through range, may breed up to three times per year. A monogamous species.
The nest is made of small twigs, leaves and feathers and placed in a tree hole, usually at least 10m above the ground. May nest in association with other species like Vernal Hanging-Parrot. 2-3 light blue to blue-green eggs with brown to lavender spotting are laid; incubation by both sexes for 13–17 days; parental care by both adults; young fledge at 25–28 days; post-fledging care is minimal. Brood parasitism by Common Koel recorded.

[edit] Movements

A resident species. Some local movement may occur.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from
  2. Gill, F and M Wright. 2008. Birds of the World: Recommended English Names. Princeton University Press, Princeton NJ, USA. 2006. ISBN 9780691128276. Update (2008) downloaded from
  3. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2009. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 14: Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553507

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