Southern Hill Myna (Gracula indica) is a forest dweller bird from the family of Starlings. It was actually a race of the Common Hill Myna (Gracula religiosa). But now both are different species. The one found in the Western Ghats (Sahyadri mountains) is the Southern Hill Myna.
Photo 1: Exif- f/5.6, ISO 320, 1/800s, -0.3 step, 500mm, Nikon D7100, Nikkor 200-500mm f5.6E. Date- March 16, 2016. Location- Urulanthanni, Thattekad, Kerala.
The above photo is from Urulanthanni forest, near Thattekad Bird Sanctuary. It is a fantastic place for birding – I think the most number of spottings in Kerala is from Urulanthanni.
About Southern Hill Myna – Gracula indica
It is a beautiful bird with iridescent colors. At first sight it may seem to be black in color, but actually it is dark blue-green. The bills are reddish and the legs are yellow. On the head there are yellow skins, which makes the bird more attractive.
It is mainly found in the forests, usually found in pairs or in groups. Their loud calls are distinct. The fluttering sound when the fly in groups is also nice to hear. This bird is almost a sure sighting in the forests of Kerala. So it is a common species. Comparing sizes, it is bigger than the Common Myna.
See portfolio: Birds.