1242. Ammomanes phoenieura phcenicura

(1242) Ammomanes phoenicura phoenicura (Franklin).
The Indian RUFOUS-TAILED Finch-Lark.
Ammomanes phoenicura phoenicura, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. iii, p. 350.
This Finch-Lark is found East of a line which may be roughly drawn from the Rann of Cutch to Delhi, whence it extends to Dinapore in Eastern Bengal with the Ganges as its Northern boundary, except in Bihar, while South it occurs as far as Mysore and Travancore.
Like other Larks, this bird also only breeds in open lands but, unlike others, its favourite site for the nest is in a ploughed field. Blewitt says that this is so in Raipur ; Whitehead says the same about Sehore and Betham repeats it in regard to nests taken by him both at Mhow and at Poona.
Coltart and Lindsey Harvey both say that this Lark is not rare in Bihar North of the Ganges, where they both obtained nests and eggs. In this district most of their nests were found in fallow fields protected by clods of earth or by tufts of grass or weeds. Occasionally the neat, according to Betham, is placed actually under a stone or clod of earth, and is then very difficult to locate.
Sometimes it builds in hollows on river-banks, as found by Nunn at Hoshangabad, or on the bank of a tank as found by MacArthur Tickell also records taking its nest in long grass, but probably this identification is not correct and refers to a Mirafra.
The nest varies greatly. Blewitt says that the score of nests found by him were all just hollows in the ground with no grass or other materials to line them. This, however, is exceptional, and as a rule the nest is a pad of grass, rice-straw or roots pretty well put together. Sometimes it is even more elaborate than this. Hume notes that it is sometimes “lined with softer materials” ; Nunn says it is “lined with wool and feathers," while Butler took one “well lined with rats’ fur and goats’ hair.”
The breeding season over most of its range is practically restricted to March and April, though a few birds may lay in early May and late February. In Sehore Whitehead found them breeding freely in early May, while in the Central Provinces MacArthur took eggs as late as the 15th of that month.
The full complement of eggs is three or four, three quite as often as four. They could not, I think, he distinguished from the eggs of the Crested Larks of the chendoola and magna groups, but as a series they are more often marked with zones or caps at the larger ends.
Most eggs have the ground pale grey, pale buff or pale brown-grey, very rarely pale greenish. The marks consist of specks and tiny blotches of pale sienna-brown, grey-brown, reddish-brown, dark umber-brown or even blackish. These are freely scattered over the whole surface but are nearly always more numerous at the larger end where, as already noted, they often form rings or caps.
Fifty eggs average 21.2 x 15.7 mm. ; maxima 23.2 x 15.8 and 23.0 x 16.5 mm. ; minima 16.1 x 15.4 and 21.2 x 14.3 mm.
The texture is similar to that of the eggs of G. c. chendoola, but a little closer and harder. In shape most eggs are rather broad ovals but a few are longer, narrower and more pointed.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 3. 1934.
Title in Book: 
1242. Ammomanes phoenieura phcenicura
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Indian Rufous Tailed Finch Lark
Ammomanes phoenicura phoenicura
Vol. 3

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