Sexes alike. Brown above, slightly darker on wings and tail; black perky crest distinctive; crimson ‘whiskers’ behind eyes; white underbody with broken breast-collar; crimsonscarlet vent. Sociable; pairs or small flocks, occasionally gatherings of up to 100 birds; lively and energetic; feeds in canopy, low bush and onground; enliven its surroundings with cheerful whistling notes; tame and confiding in some areas.
Sexes alike. Glistening steel-blue above; chestnut cap; unmarked, pure white underbody distinctive; two long, wire-like projections (tail-wires) from outer tail feathers diagnostic. Solitary or small parties; almost always seen around water, either perched on overhead wires or hawking insects in graceful, acrobatic flight, swooping and banking; often flies very low, drinking from the surface; roosts in reed beds and other vegetation, often with warblers and wagtails.
Small, dark brown swallow, almost always found near water; upperparts dark brown, wing edges slightly darker, with white throat, half collar and belly contrasting sharply with clearly marked dark brown breast band; clearly forked tail; distinguished from Plain by white throat and half collar distinctly demarcated from dark ear coverts and breast band; gregarious; always with other swallows and swifts; hunts aerially with smallbilled, wide-gaped mouth over water; perches on exposed overhead wires or branches.
Sexes alike. A grey, black and rufous myna; black crown, head and crest; grey back; rich-buff sides of head, neck and underbody; black wings and brown tail with white sides and tip distinctive in flight. Female has a slightly smaller crest, otherwise like male. Small parties, occasionally collecting into flocks of 20 birds; associates with other birds on flowering trees or on open lands; walks typical myna style, head held straight up, confident in looks; communal roosting-sites, with other birds.
Asian Pied Starling
Sexes alike. Black and white (pied) plumage distinctive; orange-red beak and orbital skin in front of eyes confirm identity. Sociable; small parties either move on their own or associate with other birds, notably other mynas and drongos; rather common and familiar over its range but keeps a distance from man; may make its ungainly nest in garden trees, but never inside houses, nor does it enter houses; more a bird of open, cultivated areas, preferably where there is water; attends to grazing cattle; occasionally raids standing crops.
Sexes alike. Similar to Common Myna but smaller; has bluishgrey neck, mantle and underparts; black head with orange-red wattle around the eye; orange-yellow bill; buff-orange tailtips and wing-patch. Usually observed in small, scattered groups around human habitation; bold and confiding; often seen along roadside restaurants picking out scraps.
Sexes alike. Rich vinous-brown plumage; black head, neck and upper breast; yellow beak, legs and naked wattle around eyes distinctive; large white spot in
dark brown flight feathers, best seen in flight; blackish tail, with broad white tips to all but central feathers; whitish abdomen. Solitary, or in scattered pairs or small, loose bands India's most common and familiar bird; hardly ever strays far from man and habitation; rather haughty and confident in looks; aggressive, curious and noisy; struts about on ground, picks out worms; attends to grazing cattle and refuse dumps; enters verandahs and kitchens, sometimes even helping itself on dining tables.
Brown Rock Chat
Brown above, more rufous below; dark brown wings, almost blackish tail. Overall appearance like female Indian Robin. Usually pairs, around ruins, dusty villages, rocky hillsides; often approaches close; tame and confiding; captures insects on ground; rather aggressive when breeding.
Male: black plumage; white in wing, rump and belly. Female: brown above, paler on lores; darker tail; dull yellow-brown below, with a rusty wash on breast and belly. Solitary or in pairs; perches on a bush, overhead wire, pole or some earth mound; makes short sallies on to ground, either devouring prey on ground or carrying it to perch; active, sometimes guards feeding territories in winter; flicks and spreads wings; fascinating display flight of courting male (April–May).
Several races in India. Males differ in having dark brown, blackish- brown or glossy blue-back upper body. Male: dark brown above; white wing-patch; glossy blueblack below; chestnut vent and under tail. Female: lacks white in wings; duller grey-brown below. Solitary or in pairs in open country, and often in and around habitation; rather suspicious andmaintains safe distance between man and itself; hunts on ground, hopping or running in short spurts; when on ground, holds head high and often cocks tail, right up to back, flashing the chestnut vent and under tail.