412. SERIN FINCH.
Serinus hortulanus, Koch, Baier. Zool. p. 229 (1876) ; Gould, B. of Gt Brit. iii. pl. 38 ; Dresser, iii. p. 549, pl. 172 ; Saunders, p. 177 ; Fring. serinus, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 320 ; Naum. v. p. 114, pl. 123 , (Sharpe), Cat. B. Br. Mus. xii. p. 368 ; Lilford, iv. p. 52, pl. 25.
Serin, French ; Milheira, Portug. ; Verdecillo, Span. ; Verzellino, Ital. ; Girlitz, German ; Gulirisk, Dan.
Male ad. (Germany). Forehead, supercilium, throat, and breast bright yellow ; hind-crown, nape, and sides of head blackish grey margined with yellow ; back, scapulars, and wing-coverts brown, slightly margined with yellow and with blackish central stripes ; rump and upper tail-coverts yellow ; quills and tail blackish brown narrowly margined with yellow ; under parts yellow, the lower abdomen and under tail-coverts faint yellowish white ; sides of breast and flanks striped with blackish brown ; bill dark horn, paler at the base below ; legs brownish flesh ; iris dark brown. Culmen 0.32, wing 2.8, tail 2.05, tarsus 0.6 inch. In the winter the yellow on the head is obscured by greyish brown tips to the feathers, the back is less yellow and the quills have broader buffy yellowish white margins. The female has less yellow in the plumage ; the crown, sides of bead and nape are like the back ; rump yellow marked with blackish brown, the margins to the quills and tips of the wing-coverts are buffy white ; under parts dull white, throat and breast washed with yellow, and together with the flanks striped with blackish brown.
Hab. Central and southern Europe, of rare occurrence in Great Britain, Denmark, and Heligoland ; wintering, and to some extent resident in north Africa; Palestine, and Asia Minor.
Unlike the Citril Finch, the Serin inhabits the foot of the mountains skirting the plains, orchards, vineyards, and gardens, and though tolerably tame in the town gardens, it is shy outside in the country. Its flight is very swift not unlike that of Cotile riparia ; its call-note resembles that of the Canary bird, but its song is clear and pleasing though not of a high order. It feeds chiefly on seeds, especially those of an oily nature. The nest is neat, compact, cup-shaped, constructed of fine roots and grass-bents, lined with plant-down, feathers, and hair, and is placed on a bush or tree, most frequently a fruit-tree. The eggs 4 to 5 in number resemble those of the Goldfinch, but the blotches are not so dark and more spread out, and they are smaller, averaging about 0.65 by 0.49.
412. Serinus hortulanus
412. SERIN FINCH.