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The Sturnidæ or Starling Family

The common myna of the Nilgiris is not Acridotheres tristis but Æthiopsar fuscus--the jungle myna. The casual observer usually fails to notice any difference between the two species, so closely do they resemble one another. Careful inspection, however, shows that the jungle myna has a little patch of feathers in front of the head over the beak. Æthiopsar fuscus has all the habits of the common myna. Like the latter, it struts about sedately in company with cattle in order to snatch up the grasshoppers disturbed by the moving quadrupeds. It feeds largely on the insects that infest the capsules of Lobelia excelsa, and is often to be seen clinging, like a tit, to the stem in order to secure the insects. Davidson gives these mynas a very bad character, he declares that they do immense damage to the fruit gardens on the Nilgiris, so that without the aid of nets, it is next to impossible to preserve pears from their depredations.

No other species of myna is common on the Nilgiris.