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These 23-centimetre (9.1 in) long birds have grey plumage, darker on the head and wings. There are large white wing patches obvious in flight, and a white tail tip. The head has a forehead tuft. The bill and strong legs are bright yellow, and there is no bare skin around eye. The southern Indian race has a blue iris. The sexes are similar, but juveniles are browner.
They are usually found close to water or rice fields.
In many parts of Asia, they are kept as pets. As a result, escaped birds have formed feral populations in many countries such as Taiwan.
On kapok Ceiba pentandra in Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Looking for insects on a buffalo's back with a black drongo in Kolkata, West Bengal, India
- Birds of India by Grimmett, Inskipp and Inskipp, ISBN 0-691-04910-6