849. Anthus cervinus.
The Red-throated Pipit.
Motacilla cervina, Pall. Zoogr. Ross.-Asiat. i, p. 511 (1811). Anthus cervinus (Pall.), Hume, S. F. ii, p. 239; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 367 ; Hume, Cat. no. 605 bis; Oates, B. B. i, p. 169; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. x, p. 585.
Coloration. The fully adult has the whole upper plumage black with fulvous or pale rufous margins to all the feathers ; wings and tail dark brown, edged with pale fulvous, the outermost tail-feather diagonally white on the terminal two thirds of its length, the penultimate with a small white tip ; a distinct supercilium, cheeks, chin, throat, and upper breast vinous or cinnamon-red, the breast with a few black streaks; sides of the breast densely streaked; remainder of lower plumage fulvous, suffused with pink, the sides of the body densely and coarsely streaked with black; lores and ear-coverts vinous-brown; under wing-coverts and axillaries buff.
The young bird has the upper plumage, wings, and tail like the adult; the supercilium indistinct and fulvous; lores and ear-coverts rufous-brown; the whole lower plumage fulvous, the chin, throat,and cheeks unspotted, a broad black band down each side of the throat, the whole breast and sides of the body with very broad black streaks; middle of abdomen, vent, and under tail-coverts unmarked.
At each successive spring moult the young bird acquires more and more vinous on the head and breast and probably becomes fully adult in three years.
Iris brown ; bill dark brown, the gape and base of lower mandible yellowish ; legs yellowish flesh-colour ; claws horn-colour.
Length about 6.5; tail 2.4; wing 3.3; tarsus .9; bill from gape .65 ; hind claw .45.
Distribution. A common winter visitor to the eastern part of the Empire from Assam down to Tenasserim, extending along the Himalayas to Gilgit and Kashmir. This Pipit is also found in the Andamans in winter. At this season it ranges west to North-east Africa and East China and the Malayan islands. It summers in Northern Europe and Siberia.