1054. Pyrrhospiza punicea humii

(1054) Pyrrhospiza punicea humii Sharpe.
THE WESTERN RED-BREASTED ROSE-FINCH.
Pyrrhospiza punicea humii, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. iii, p. 121.
This large Rose-Finch is to he found breeding from the North¬-West Frontier to Garhwal at very high elevations. Whitehead (Journ. Bomb. Nat. Hist. Soc. vol. xxiii, p. 107, 1914) says that it is common in the Khagan Valley between 12,000 and 14,000 feet, while other observers have found it in Ladak and elsewhere in the breeding season up to 17,000 feet. Whymper records it as breeding in the Nila Valley, Garhwal, at over 13,000 feet, though the nests he found all contained young.
There is practically nothing on record about this bird’s breeding beyond Whitehead’s note, in which he writes :—“The only nest found was being built on a ledge in a cliff and not on a bush.” Ward, however, took several nests of this Finch at, and near, Chusal at about 14,200 feet in June and July. Two clutches of these eggs, one of three and one of two, are now in my collection, while a third, also of two, is in the magnificent Palaearetic collection of the Rev. F. C. R. Jourdain. These three nests were taken on the 7th June and the 7th and 16th July, and with the first, which Ward gave me, I received the following note:—“I am sending you two eggs—full clutch—of Pyrrhospiza punicea, which I believe are new to you and, indeed, to science. The birds are not rare about Chusal, where they breed in the stunted thorn-bushes and. juniper up to over 14,000 feet. The nests are rather shallow cups of coarse grass and roots, lined with finer grass and often having many thorny twigs woven into the outside of the nest.”
Stoliczka says that he found this Finch in Summer at Spiti and Ladak between 13,000 and 17,000 feet, but his description of the nest and eggs, the latter “dirty white or greenish,” cannot possibly refer to this bird.
The eggs are typical of the Rose-Finches, a deep blue, very faintly tinged with green and with a few black spots at the larger end and, in one, two or three lines of the same. In one egg the spots are at the small end, indicative of a reversed position prior to expulsion.
The texture is fairly fine, smooth hut glossless, while in shape the eggs are long, rather pointed ovals.
The seven eggs average 24.6 x 17.0 mm. ; maxima 20.1 x 17.1 and 25.0 x 17.4 mm. ; minima 28.6 x 17.0 and 25.0 x 16.5 mm.

BookTitle: 
The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Reference: 
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 3. 1934.
Title in Book: 
1054. Pyrrhospiza punicea humii
Spp Author: 
Shaipe.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
1054
Year: 
1934
Page No: 
42
Common name: 
Western Bed Breasted Rose Finch
M_ID: 
30731
M_SN: 
Carpodacus puniceus humii
Volume: 
Vol. 3
id: 
14148

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