763. Erythrospiza githaginea

763. Erythrospiza githaginea.

The Desert-Finch.

Pyrrhula githaginea, Temm. Pl. Col. iii, pl. 400 (1826). Bucanetes githaginea (Temm.), Hume, S. F. i, p. 210, vii, pp. 64, 454; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 273. Erythrospiza githaginea (Temm), Hume, Cat. no. 732 bis; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xii, p. 284.

Coloration. Male. After the autumn moult the forehead, crown, sides of the head, and entire lower plumage are bluish grey, suffused with rosy on the lower parts; upper plumage and sides of the neck greyish brown, with a faint tinge of rosy on the rump; wings and tail brown, edged with vinous grey, the quills subterminally black.

The above plumage is retained by the male for only a short time after the moult, and at this period the whole plumage has a decided purplish tinge throughout, and hardly any pink is visible. A slight abrasion of the feathers soon causes a change, and as early as December the feathers round the bill, the cheeks, the whole lower plumage, the rump, and the margins of the quills and coverts become a beautiful rose-pink, becoming still brighter as the plumage gets more worn away.

Female. Resembles the male, but never becomes so rosy in tint at any time of the year.

Iris brown ; legs and feet fleshy brown; claws dusky; soles whitish; bill orange-yellow, sometimes pale yellow, brownish on upper mandible (Hume).

Length nearly 6; tail 2.2; wing 3.5; tarsus .7; bill from gape .5.

Young birds appear to be characterized by the presence of some dark streaks on the breast and abdomen.

Distribution. The whole of Sind and a considerable portion of Rajputana, extending east as far as the Gurgaon district in the Punjab. This Pinch is probably a resident, and it is found westwards throughout Afghanistan and Baluchistan to Europe.

Habits, &c. Hume observed this species in Sind, feeding in desert places in patches of mustard and other cultivation, and running about a good deal on the ground like Sparrows.

The Fauna Of British India including Ceylon and Burma
OATES EW. The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Vol.2 1890.
Title in Book: 
763. Erythrospiza githaginea
Book Author: 
Eugene William Oates, Edited by William Thomas Blanford
Page No: 
Common name: 
Desert Finch
Trumpeter Finch
Bucanetes githagineus
Vol. 2

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