763. Erythrospiza githaginea.
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.