1072. Bucanetes githaginea crassirostris

(1072) Bucanetes githaginea crassirostris (Blyth).
Erythrospiza githaginea crassirostris, Fauna B. I., Birds, vol. iii. p. 141.
Bucanetes githaginea crassirostris, ibid. vol. viii, p. 655.
This Desert-Finch breeds in Afghanistan, Baluchistan and the mountains of the North-West Frontier. Tomlinson also obtained it breeding at Ahwaz in Mesopotamia in March.
Williams found this bird breeding at Quetta and records the finding of the nest as follows (Journ. Bomb. Nat. Hist. Soc. vol. xxxiii, p. 604, 1929)
“This is a rare bird in the Quetta volley but breeds freely in the Pishin valley, making its nest among the rocks and, I am informed, in the trenches where the vine is cultivated.
“My first nest was found at Sheikh Mundali, on the 14th May 1924, and two other nests have subsequently been taken in the Quetta valley (on the 25th May 1926), and the bird secured in both the latter instances.
“As regards the first nest, as soon as the female flew from it I knew that it was not R. obsoleta which is so common round Quetta, and when the male bird came on the scene my companion pointed out the differences. The pink breast of the male and the ashy hue of the female are easy distinctions from R. obsolete, and the owners of the nest were, without a doubt, a pair of E. g. crassi¬rostris.
“The first nest was in an old deserted building, placed between two laths going across a beam, and was a framework of thin sticks and twigs, lined with wool and hair. The other two were also placed in a mined building, a watch-tower, and were placed in broken patches of the crumbling mud walls. The nests were of the same type.
“The eggs, four in number, are broad ovals, slightly glossy, and in colour a clear pale blue with a few black spots at the large end.”
In the Syrian Desert Aharoni found these Pinches breeding in February and March, making their nests in holes in, or under, rocks.
In Quetta Wilhams took one nest on the 25th of April, his other nests in May.
The eggs vary considerably, the ground varying from a skim milk blue, with a few dark spots or faint red freckles at the larger end, to a blue almost as deep as that of a Hedge-Sparrow’s egg, with a well-defined ring of reddish freckles at the broader end.
Fourteen eggs, including all Williams’s, average 18.4 x 14.7 mm. : maxima 18.7 x 14.7 and 18.6 x 15.1 mm. ; minima 18.2 x 14.2 mm.
In shape the eggs are broad ovals, some being decidedly pointed at the small end. The texture is fine and close, the surface having a slight sheen.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 3. 1934.
Title in Book: 
1072. Bucanetes githaginea crassirostris
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Eastern Desert Finch
Bucanetes githagineus crassirostris
Vol. 3

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