Subfamily FRINGILLINAE

The Fringillinae comprise the Bullfinches, the Rose-Finches, the Crossbills, the true Finches, the Sparrows, and the Mountain-Finches. They have a bill of medium size, the upper mandible not being produced behind the front line of the bony orbit, and the cutting-edges of the two mandibles are everywhere in contact.

The Fringillinae have one moult a year only, but the wearing away of the margins of the feathers in parts of the plumage in the spring causes many of them to have a summer plumage, which in some cases is very different to the winter dress. The young birds resemble the adult females and probably retain this dress till the second autumn.

The Fringillinae are more or less gregarious or sociable, live both on seeds and insects, and are frequently good songsters.

1 have made the division of the Fringillinae into genera to depend in great measure on types of colour as well as structure *.

Key to the Genera.

a. Bump white; quills and tail uniform black……………………PYRRHULA, p. 204.
b. Inner webs of tertiaries white……………………PYRRHOPLECTES, p. 207.
c. Sexes (except in Erythrospiza) very dissimilar ; males red or pink, females brown or greenish; no white on tail; tail forked.
a1. Tips of mandibles crossed……………………LOXIA, p. 208.
b1. Bill of normal shape.
a2. Bill short and thick ; culmen curved.
a3. Tail conspicuously short, the tip of the wings reaching considerably beyond middle of tail.
a4. Nostrils exposed ; male scarlet, female green……………………HAEMATOSPIZA, p. 209.
b4. Nostrils densely plumed ; sexes nearly similar……………………ERYTHROSPIZA, p. 221.
b3. Tail of moderate length ; tip of wing not reaching beyond middle of tail.
c4. Males with the abdomen and breast of quite different colours.
a5. Culmen much longer than depth of hill at base……………………PYRRHOSPIZA, p. 211.
b5. Culmen about as long as depth of bill at base……………………PROPYRRHULA, p. 210.
d4. Males with the abdomen and breast of the same colour.
c5. A supercilium present in both sexes……………………PROPASSER, p. 212.
d5. No supercilium present in either sex……………………CARPODACUS, p. 219.
b2. Bill lengthened and slender; culmen straight……………………PROCARDUELIS, p. 223.
d. Lateral tail-feathers largely marked with white; tail forked,
c1. Bill long, slender and pointed; a large amount of yellow on wings……………………CARDUELIS, p. 225.
d1. Bill long and thick; wings spotted with white……………………CALLACANTHIS, p. 220.
e1. Bill short and pointed ; plumage streaked ……………………ACANTHIS, p. 227.
e. Both sexes with greater part of plumage yellow or green.
f1. Bill small and swollen; culmen curved……………………METOPONIA, p. 230.
g1. Bill lengthened and sharp; culmen straight.
c2. Length of culmen about equal to depth of bill at base; sexes closely alike……………………HYPACANTHIS, p. 231.
d2. Length of culmen about twice depth of bill at base; sexes dissimilar……………………CHRYSOMITRIS, p. 232.
f. Sexes not strikingly dissimilar ; two bars on wing-coverts; throat and breast generally rufous; bill lengthened and straight……………………FRINGILLA, p. 233.
g. A yellow patch on throat; no pattern on outer webs of earlier primaries……………………GYMNORHIS, p. 235.
h. Pale margins on outer webs of earlier primaries not of uniform width, forming two patches, one below primary-coverts and one above emarginations.
h1. No yellow patch on throat and no white spots on tail……………………PASSER, p. 23G.
i1. A yellow patch on throat and white spots on tail……………………PETRONIA, p. 243.
i. Tail square, middle pair of feathers as long as the others; quills and tail largely white; no yellow on throat……………………MONTIFRINGILLA, p. 244.
k. Tail forked and not marked with white ; sexes alike ; plumage occasionally pink on rump and shoulder……………………FRINGILLAUDA, p. 247.

* I cannot determine the following Finches:—
FRINGILLA PYRRHOPTERA, Less, in Belang. Voy. p. 271 (1834).
PROPASSER MURRAYI, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xxxii, p. 458 (1863).
LINOTA PYGMAEA, Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xxxvii, pt. ii, p. 62 (1868).
All of which were described from specimens procured in India, but too insufficiently to be recognizable.

BookTitle: 
The Fauna Of British India including Ceylon and Burma
Reference: 
OATES EW. The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Vol.2 1890.
Title in Book: 
Subfamily FRINGILLINAE
Book Author: 
Eugene William Oates, Edited by William Thomas Blanford
Year: 
1890
Page No: 
202
Volume: 
Vol. 2
id: 
1021

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