Southern hill myna, Dandeli

Southern hill myna, Dandeli

Southern hill myna, Dandeli

 

The southern hill myna (Gracula indica) is a member of the starling family. It is a resident of southwest India and Sri Lanka. This was formerly considered conspecific with Common hill myna G. religiosa, but maintained as a separate species differing in its long, narrow serrated wattle on hindcrown; much shorter wings than closest form of G. religiosa; proportionately finer bill; “striking vocal differences”. 23–25 cm; 126 g. Medium-sized black myna with bare patch below eye clearly separated from bare postorbital skin, which extends back to nape, where there is a yellow-orange wattle.

The habitat of the southern hill myna is Wooded country, including evergreen forest and well-wooded cultivated areas. This myna is almost entirely arboreal, moving in large, noisy groups of half a dozen or so, in tree-tops at the edge of the forest. It hops sideways along the branch, unlike the characteristic jaunty walk of other mynas. Like most starlings, the hill myna is fairly omnivorous, eating fruit, nectar and insects. The main diet includes fruit and nectar: fruit of figs (Ficus) and berries of sapu tree. Not globally threatened classified as Least Concern by IUCN. Often treated as a race of G. religiosa. Probably not globally threatened. Locally common.

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