Garrulus lanceolatus Vigors, 1831 sec. Droege, G., Corvids of the World

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Garrulus lanceolatus Vigors, 1831 sec. Droege, G., Corvids of the World

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Editorial Status

Currently not in focus of editorial work, unrevised text, last update: 2016-12-23.

Common Name

English: Black-Headed JayA, Black-Throated JayA,B,C

Distribution

Asia-Temperate Western Asia (Afghanistan (AfghanistannativeA,D,E,1)), Asia-Tropical Indian Subcontinent (Nepal (NepalnativeA,C,D,E,2), Pakistan (PakistannativeA,D,E,3), West HimalayanativeA,C,D,E,4)
1. NE Afghanistan, 2. C Nepal (Howard and Moore); to EC Nepal (Rasmussen and Anderton 2012), 3. W and N Pakistan (Howard and Moore checklist); Chitral [E Pakistan] (Ali 1949); N Baluchistan (Rasmussen & Anderton 2012), 4. Jerdon (1863): found only in the NW Himalayas, extending to Nepal; not known in Sikhim, very common in the hills about Simla

Description

Whole head, with crest, face, and ears, black; neck behind, and back, pale vinous bay; wingsblack, the quills with a large and broad blue band, black-barred, on the outer web, the outer edges light, and tipped white; the coverts of the primaries white, the feathers black at their base, and the two outer ones blue-banded on the outer web; the tertiaries the same as the back, with a broad black terminal band, tipped white; tail blue, narrowly barred with black, and with a terminal white band; chin, throat, and upper part of the breast, black, ending in iron grey, the feathers lanceolate, and centres or shafted pure white; belly the same colour as the back. but more reddish.

The young bird has a vinous tinge, and the white shafts of the throat are not developed. The wings reach to about 4 inches from the end of the tail, which is much rounded or graduated.

Length 13 inches; wing 6; tail 6,5; tarsus 1,25 to 1,3; bill at front 7/8.C

Foraging

Insects, reptiles, the eggs and young of small birds, and anything else that can be conveniently had. I have seen them feeding on kitchen scraps near bungalows at hill-stations. They are destructive to fruits in hill orchards. In autumn large parties may be observed hopping amongst the outside twigs and foliage of Banj oaks and plucking the ripe acorns. The acorn is held under foot and the kernel hacked out the repeated hammer blows of the short, strong bill and swalloed. Windfalls are either carried off to a branch or dealt with on the ground.D Highly ominivorous.A

Biology And Ecology

The breeding season is April to June.D Breeding season April to JulyA

Nest

Breeds in May and June. Nest made of twigs, roots, and fibres, loosely put together.C The nest is a deep, untidy, loosely-built cup of twigs, lined with roots, fibres and greass stems. It is usually placed in the top of an oak sappling - 15 to 20 feet up - in open forest on a hillside.D Nest smaller than Eurasian Jay, usually within 10m of ground.A

Egg

Three or four in number, greenish stone grey, freckled, chiefly at the larger end with dusky, and a few black hair-like streaks not always present.F Three to five, olive-brown to live-green, minutely freckled and thinly blotched with brown. The markings coalesce to form a ring or cap at the broad end, where there usually are also some twisted black lines.D

Behaviour

Usually appearing in small parties of five or six (near Simla, India).C They go about in noisy pairs or small parties of four or five. In autumn and winter these may enlarge to twenty or more individuals. Jays are very inquisitive birds and opften quite bold. They have the same habit as crows of collecting and raising a hue and cry when one of their number has come to grief. IN flight, and in their actions generally, their relationship with the crows is evident.D Moves through forest in small, often mixed-species flocks; sometimes feeds on ground.A

Voice

They have harsh monosyllabic calls, some very like those of the Tree Pie. Others are strongly reminiscent of the screeching "Snake alert" of the Common Myna.D Noisy ecept when breeding; calls similar to those of Eurasian, but gives a gentler, flatter kra-a-a-a, harsh jay-jay-jay, thinner, single, dry skaaaak, and higher mewing call; also a variety of other conversational and mirmicked notes.A

Bibliography

A. Rasmussen, P.C. & Anderton, J.C., Birds of South Asia. The Ripley Guide., 2nd edition, 1 and 2. 2012: 594 [8772]
B. Ali, S., Indian Hill Birds. 1949: 6 [2945]
C. Jerdon, T.C., The Birds of India : being a natural history of all the birds known to inhabit continental India, with descriptions of the species, genera, families, tribes, and orders, and a brief notice of such families as are not found in India, making it a manual of ornithology specially adapted for India. v. 2, pt. 1. 1863: 308 [1228]
D. Ali, S., Indian Hill Birds. 1949: 7 [2945]
E. The Howard and Moore complete checklist of the birds of the world. 3rd Edition. 2003
F. Jerdon, T.C., The Birds of India : being a natural history of all the birds known to inhabit continental India, with descriptions of the species, genera, families, tribes, and orders, and a brief notice of such families as are not found in India, making it a manual of ornithology specially adapted for India. v. 2, pt. 1. 1863: 308 [1128]