843. Anthus cockburniae.
The Rufous Rock-Pipit.
Anthus similis, Jerd. Ill. Ind. Orn. pl. 45 (1847), nec Madr. Journ. L. S. (1840). Agrodroma cinnamomea (Rupp.), apud Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 235. Agrodroma similis, Jerd., Hume, N. & E. p. 385; Fairbank, S. F. iv, p. 260; Hume, Cat. no. 603; Davison, S. F. x, p. 397; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 246. Anthus sordidus, Rupp., apud Sharpe, Cat. B. M. x, p. 560; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 212.
Coloration. Upper plumage dark brown, the feathers narrowly margined with fulvous; wings brown, broadly edged with bright fulvous; tail black margined with fulvous, the outermost feather with the outer web and the terminal half of the inner pale rufous ; the penultimate feathers tipped with pale rufous; supercilium and lower plumage fulvous or sandy buff ; a narrow black moustachial streak; the breast with small, narrow, but very distinct triangular brown streaks.
Iris wood-brown ; upper mandible black; lower mandible fleshy, with the tip blackish; tarsus reddish fleshy, the feet darker; claws dark reddish brown; gape yellow (Davison).
Length about 8 ; tail 3.1; wing 3.7; tarsus 1.1 ; bill from gape .9 ; hind claw .35.
There has been much confusion regarding the name of this Pipit. It has been identified with two names of Ruppell's, but wrongly so. Jerdon figured it as A. similis in his ' Illustrations,' and in the accompanying letterpress confounded it with that species. As there is, so far as I can ascertain, no specific term that applies to the present species, I have much pleasure in connecting this fine Pipit with the name of Miss Cockburn, a lady who has for so many years successfully worked the Nilgiri hills, and whose specimens enrich the Hume Collection.
Distribution. A permanent resident in the Nilgiri hills, on the higher portions of which this Pipit appears to be not uncommon, frequenting grassy land and occasionally perching on bushes when disturbed. This species appears to extend some distance north, as the Hume Collection contains a specimen obtained at Ahmednagar by Dr. Fairbank.
Habits, &c. A nest of this species was found in the Nilgiris by Miss Cockburn in March. It was placed under a shelving rock, and was composed of fine grass. The eggs are creamy white densely speckled with yellowish brown and purplish grey, and measure about .85 by .65.
* Neither of the names given by Jerdon to this species can stand, as the first had previously been applied by Temminck, and the second by Koch, to other species of Pipits.