64. Saxicola moesta

64. MOURNING WHEATEAR.
SAXICOLA MOESTA.
Saxicola moesta, Licht. Verz. Doubl, p. 33 (1823) ; Dresser, ii. p. 229, pl. 32, figs. 2 (1874) ; Seebohm, Cat. B. Br. Mus. v. p. 382 ; Koenig. J. f. O. 1893, p. 16, Tab. 1 ; S, philothamna, Tristram, Ibis, 1859, p. 58, pl. 9 ; Dresser, ii. p. 223, pl. 30.
Male ad. (Algeria). Crown dull greyish white ; nape white ; back black ; rump and upper tail-coverts reddish white ; wings dull brown, the quills with paler margins ; outer tail-feathers bright rufous at the base, otherwise blackish brown, the middle tail-feathers greyish brown ; throat, sides of head and neck jet black ; breast and abdomen white ; under tail-coverts pale rufous ; bill and legs black ; iris brown. Culmen 0.8, wing 3.8, tail 2.9, tarsus 1.2 inch. The adult female has the upper parts sandy isabelline, the back darker and the under parts including the throat, buffy white. The young bird has the crown and nape greyish brown, the back darker, rump white, tinged with rufous, quills and wing-coverts broadly margined with rusty ochreous ; tail narrowly tipped with ochreous ; chin, lores, and sides of face black, the lower chin and throat white ; rest of under parts white, washed with rufous, and with indistinct cross bars.
Hab. Algeria, Tunis, Egypt, Arabia, and Palestine, where it is resident, but nowhere common.
In its habits it is somewhat peculiar as it frequents exclu¬sively open, scrubby, and not bare districts, and perches on bushes like a Whinchat. It builds its nest in a hole under a bush or root, having two entrances and deposits very early in the season, often early in January, its rather large eggs, which measure 24 by 18 millimetres (0.94 by 0.71 inches) and are deli¬cate bluish white, sprinkled all over with minute reddish spots.

BookTitle: 
A Manual Of Palaearctic Birds
Reference: 
Dresser, Henry Eeles. A Manual of Palaearctic Birds. Vol. 1. 1902.
Title in Book: 
64. Saxicola moesta
Book Author: 
H. E. Dresser
CatNo: 
64
Year: 
1902
Page No: 
42
Common name: 
Mourning Wheatear
Volume: 
Vol. 1
id: 
10568

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