Ammomanes phoenicura, Franklin.
758. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. II, p. 421; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. III, p. 499 ; Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 418 ; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India; Ibis, 1885, p. 129.
THE RUFOUS-TAILED FINCH LARK.
Length, 6.5 ; wing, 4.2; tail, 2.4.
Bill horny-brown, fleshy at base beneath; irides brown ; legs fleshy.
Plumage above ashy-brown, with a rufescent tinge ; rump, base of tail, the inner webs of the quills, and the tail-feathers, dark rufous or dull ferruginous; the quills and tip of the tail dark-brown, lower parts of the same ferruginous hue, but paler on the throat and lower tail-coverts, and with a few dusky streaks on the breast; extremity of the lower tail-coverts with a dusky spot.
With the exception of Sind, the Rufous-tailed Finch Lark is a common permanent resident throughout the region, breeding during April and May. The nests are placed in deep cavities, formed by clods of earth on ploughed or broken ground, and are mere pads formed of soft grass, occasionally lined with hairs. The eggs, usually four in number (I once found five), are moderately broadish ovals in shape, and vary much in color, but the usual type is yellowish-white, thickly freckled and spotted with reddish or yellowish-brown, with pale underlying spots of inky purple. They average 0.85 inches in length by 0.62 in breadth.