1060. Propasser pulcherrlmus davidianus*

(1060) Propasser pulcherrimus davidianus* (Milne-Edw.).
Propasser pulcherrimus davidianus, Fauna B. I,, Birds, 2nd ed, vol. iii, p. 127.
This Eastern race of the Beautiful Rose-Finch breeds from Eastern and Southern Tibet to Sinling and Shensi. It occurs in Bhutan and may breed in that country on the borders of Tibet and, perhaps, also in the Northern Abor country, North of the Brahmapootra.
It is an extremely common bird all over the Tibetan plateaux between 12,000 and 16,000 feet, where it breeds in June, July and August, making its nest, like the preceding bird, in low thorny bushes, Capt. R. Steen was the first to take its eggs, near Gyantse, and since then Capt, Kennedy, Capt. Macgregor and many others have taken them,
Macdonald sent me a series of eggs, nests and skins and, with them, the following summary on the nidification:—“This bird is very common all round Gyantse, where I live, at 12,000 ft., and all round about wherever there are great plains with thorn-bushes, while it is also found on the slopes round these hills, nesting at much greater heights. Once when I went to Lhasa I saw great numbers of these birds, but this was early in the year, and they were then in large flocks. The nests are cups, made mostly of grass but, in a great many, roots, bits of bark and a few twigs are mixed with the grass, and in a few I have seen the outer walls were nearly all roots and twigs. The Hning is made of goat’s hair, yak’s hair or some kind of fur, like that of the little rat which burrows all over the plains. They never use feathers to line their nests with. The nests are quite well made, the walls being strong and well put together and the lining ample and soft. They are always placed low down in thorny bushes or brambles, sometimes almost on the ground and at other times a couple of feet above it. Next to the thorny little bush which is so common all over Tibet the favourite sites for the nests are tangles of brambles and wild roses.”
* I still cannot separate Sharpe’s waltoni from this race from China, although it has again been said by some systematists that they are separable.
Ludlow says that “if. breeds abundantly in thorny ‘Hippophoe’ bushes on the Gyantse plain in July, building a neat nest of grass and lining it with hair.”
I have eggs taken, by Steen and his successors, between the 12th June, which is exceptionally early, and the end of August.
The eggs vary from three to five in a full clutch and cannot be distinguished from those of the preceding bird, but a bigger percentage are unspotted, and I have one clutch of which all five are unmarked blue.
One hundred eggs average 19.9 x 14.2 mm, ; maxima 22.0 x 14.3 and 21.0 x 15.0 mm. ; minima 17.9 x 13.1 mm.
I have been able to gather little more information about their habits. The birds sit very close, the female, who does all the work of incubation, having to be almost kicked off the nest.
Macdonald says he thinks the eggs take 12-13 days to hatch.

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: 
1060. Propasser pulcherrlmus davidianus*
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Chinese Beautiful Rose Finch
Chinese Beautiful Rosefinch
Carpodacus davidianus
Vol. 3

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