Lesser Hill Myna    Gracula religiosa indica

Etymology :

  • Gracula : Latin word graculus –unknown bird
  • Religiosa : Latin word for sacred
  • Indica : from India

Distribution in India: Widespread Resident in Himalayas, East, North East, parts of Tamilnadu and Western Ghats.

Description: Size of 22-23 cm.  It is medium-sized black myna with bare patch below eye clearly separated from bare post orbital skin, which extends back to nape, where there is a wattle, and forwards over crown to a level opposite eye; wattles on each side do not make contact in mid-line. The plumage is mostly black, with forehead and center of crown as glossed purple, body is glossed purple and oily green; wing and tail are black, white patch on inner web. The iris is dark brown, bare skin on head is yellow; bill is orange, yellow tip; legs are yellow. Both the sexes look similar.

Habitat : It is found in wooded country, including evergreen forest and well-wooded cultivated areas

Food Habits: It eats fruit and Nectar. Fruits eaten include figs, grapes, mulberries, peas and chilies. It occasionally feeds on nectar. It forages mainly in treetops.

Breeding Habits: They breed in Feb-May in Southern Parts of India. They are Monogamous and nest in holes high up in a tree. They lay a clutch of 2-3 eggs. The incubation is done by both sexes, female doing more for a period 13 day. Both parents feed chicks and remove faecal material. The nestling period is for 20–22 days.