(1200) Anthus roseatus,
Anthus roseatus Hodgs., Blyth, J. A. S. B., xvi, p. 437 (1847) (Nepal). Anthus rosaceus. Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 311.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Whole upper plumage black, each feather edged with olive-brown; wings dark brown edged with olive-buff, narrowly on the primaries, broadly so elsewhere; tail dark brown edged with olive: the outermost pair of feathers white on the outer web and diagonally dull white on the terminal half of the inner web; the next pair of feathers whitish at the tip; lores and ear-coverts dusky, the latter streaked with yellowish; a broad supercilium vinous-pink but generally buff posteriorly; chin, throat and breast pale vinous-pink, the sides of the breast and sometimes the centre of the lower breast streaked with black; remainder of lower plumage pale fulvous, boldly streaked on the flanks with black; axillaries and under wing-coverts yellow.
Colours of soft parts. Iris dark brown; bill horny-black above,, fleshy-brown at the base and fleshy-yellow below; legs and feet fleshy-brown, claws darker.
Measurements. Total length about 165 mm.; wing 82 to 94 mm.; tail 62 to 69 mm.; tarsus 23 to 24 mm.; culmen 11 to 12 mm.
In abraded plumage in Summer the pale fringes of the upper plumage are worn away and the olive tint is lost. In this state the general appearance is very dark and the olive tinge is replaced by grey, or by fulvous on the rump and upper tail-coverts.
Young birds have no vinous colour anywhere, the broad supercilium is fulvous or fulvous-bun0 and the lower parts are much more heavily streaked with black, the streaks extending to the whole of the breast and forming a line on either side of the immaculate throat and fore-neck.
Distribution. Breeding from Afghanistan and Turkestan, throughout the Himalayas to Kansu, Eastern Tibet, Yunnan and the Northern Shan States. In Winter it is found in the plains of Northern India and Assam and in Northern Burma to Arakan.
Nidification. Hodgson's Pipit breeds in great numbers in Garhwal and in smaller numbers, though still commonly, throughout Kashmir, Ladakh and Tibet as far as the Central East and South and from this more sparingly to Yunnan and Western China. The nest is a typical Pipit's, perhaps more stoutly built than most and in some ca>es also the grass nest has a good deal of bracken, leaves etc. worked into the base and external walls. Occasionally it builds a domed or semi-domed nest. The usual site is in among tufts of grass in a hollow between the roots but a hollow under a stone often serves instead. The eggs number three or four, very rarely five, and are like other Pipits' eggs but, as a rule, are dark eggs and of the finely stippled or speckled character, a minority only being of the paler better-blotched type. One hundred eggs average 22.0 x 15.6 mm.: maxima 24.1 X 15.8 and 21.3 X 16.4 mm.; minima 19.5 x 14.6 and 20.7 x 14.4 mm. They breed principally in June and July between 8,000 and 15,000 feet, few birds nesting below 10,000 feet.
Habits. Those of the genus. Keeps almost entirely to grass-covered plateaus and sloping hillsides at the higher elevations and is sometimes found quite close to forest. It is not a very shy bird and does not shun observation.