54. RUSSET WHEATEAR.
Saxicola stapazina (Vieill.), Nouv. Dict, xxi. p. 425 (1818) ; Gould, B. of E. ii. pl. 91 ; Naumann, iii. p. 879. Taf. 90, fig. 1, 2 ; Seebohm, Cat. B. Br. Mus. v. p. 387 ; Saunders, p. 23 (1889) ; S. rufa (Brehm) ; Dresser, ii. p. 207, pl. 24, pl. 25, fig. 2.
Cul-blanc roux, French ; Caiada, Portug. ; Ruiblanca, Span. Monachella colla gola nera, Ital. ; Boudjahar, Naisch, Arab.
Male ad. (S. Spain). Crown, back, rump, upper tail-coverts, breast, and abdomen white, rest of the plumage black, crown marked with grey ; breast and back washed with rufous isabellina ; tail as in S. oenanthe ; beak and legs black ; iris brown. Culmen 0.63, wing 3.65, tail 2.6, tarsus 0.95 inch. The adult female has the Upper parts earthy brown to the rump, which with the upper tail-coverts is white ; tail as in the male ; wings brown ; throat greyish white, without any traces of black ; rest of the under pale dull rufous white. In the winter the. male has the upper parts pale ferruginous, the head browner, the breast lighter ferruginous, the abdomen and under tail-coverts washed with rufous ; quills brownish, the wing-coverts and secondaries with rufous margins ; the black feathers of the throat margined with white. The female is similar, but duller in colour, lacks the black on the throat, and has the under parts dull rufous, darkest on the breast.
Hab. South-western Europe from Portugal to Italy ; Morocco and Algeria, migrating south at the approach of winter ; has strayed as far north as Heligoland and has once occurred in England, near Bury in Lancashire, 8th of May, 1875.
In general habits it resembles the common Wheatear, but affects more arid and stony localities than that species, and is shy and difficult of approach. It feeds on insects of various kinds and is said to occasionally eat berries. Its nest is loosely constructed of dried grass-bents and lined with hair and is usually placed in a hole in an old wall or rock. The eggs, 4 or 5 in number, are deposited in May and are pale bluish green marked with rusty-red, and in size are rather smaller than those of S. oenanthe.
54. Saxicola stapazina
54. RUSSET WHEATEAR.