877. Ammomanes phoenicura.
The Rufous-tailed Finch-Lark.
Mirafra phoenicura, Frankl. P. Z. S. 1831, p. 119 ; Blyth, Cat .p. 134 Ammomanes phoenicura (Frankl.), Horsf. & M. Cat. ii, p. 477 Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 421; Hume, N. & E. p. 477; id. Cat. no. 758 Ball, S. F. vii, p. 223; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 276; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xiii, p. 642; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 240.
Aggiya, Retal, Hind.; Ambali-jori-gadu, Dowa-pitta, Tel.
Coloration. Upper plumage dark brown, with slightly darker shafts and obsolete pale margins to all the feathers, those of the head with blackish streaks; upper tail-coverts deep rufous; tail deep rufous with a broad black tip; wing-coverts and quills brown margined with sandy brown, the quills with a large amount of rufous on the inner web ; a very indistinct supercilium pale rufous ; sides of the head rufous streaked with brown ; entire lower plumage rufous, the chin, throat, and breast streaked with brown.
Bill horny brown above, fleshy at the base beneath ; legs fleshy ; iris brown (Jerdon).
Length about 6.5 ; tail 2.4; wing 4.1 ; tarsus .9 ; bill from gape .65.
Distribution. A permanent resident over a considerable portion of the peninsula of India. The western limit of this species appears to be a line drawn from the head of the Rann of Cutch to Delhi and thence produced to the Granges ; the northern boundary would appear to be the Ganges itself as far as Dinapore, and thence this Lark is spread over the entire country, in suitable localities, down to Coimbatore.
Habits, &c. Breeds from February to April, making its nest of grass on the ground and laying three or four eggs, which are speckled with yellowish and reddish brown and measure about .85 by .62.