410. CITRIL FINCH.
Chrysomitris citrinella (Linn.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 320 (1766) ; (Naum.) v. p. 148, pl. 124, figs. 3, 4 ; (Gould) B. of E. iii. pl. 198 ; Dresser, iii. p. 535, pl. 168 ; Sharpe. Cat. B. Br. Mus. xii. p. 230.
Venturon alpin, French ; Venturone, Ital. Citronenzeisig, German.
Male ad. (Baden). Crown, space round the bill as far as the eye, throat, under parts, rump, and upper tail-coverts yellowish apple-green ; nape, hind-neck and its sides slaty blue ; back dull green, with dusky streaks ; wings and tail blackish externally with narrow yellow margins, the former with a greenish yellow band across ; flanks slaty grey ; bill dark purplish blue ; legs fleshy brown ; iris dark brown. Culmen 0.4, wing 3.15, tail 21.45, tarsus 0.6 inch. The female is rather duller, has less yellow on the head, the back is brownish grey, and the under parts paler, the breast slaty blue intermixed with apple-green
Hab. The mountains of central and southern Europe, not occurring in Great Britain, wintering at lower levels ; is said to occur, though rarely, in Algeria.
In habits it much resembles the Siskin, and like that species affects conifer in preference to deciduous trees, and its nest is almost always placed on a fir-tree. Its flight resembles that of the Goldfinch, but it is swifter. Its usual note is a somewhat melancholy twitter, but its song is clear and sweet somewhat resembling that of the Siskin. It feeds almost entirely on small seeds. Its nest, which is usually placed on the bough of a fir-tree is rather larger than, but not quite so neat as that of the Serin Finch, is constructed of rootlets, grass-bents, and moss, neatly lined with very fine rootlets intermixed with a little thistle-down and wool. The eggs, 4 to 5 in number, are white with a blue-green or sea-green tinge, sparingly marked with a pale red shell and a dark red surface-blotch or dot or two, but have a wreath of pale red and reddish brown spots round the larger end, and resemble small eggs of the Goldfinch, in size averaging about 0.65 by 0.48.
410. Chrysomitris citrinella
410. CITRIL FINCH.