465. Pyrrhospiza punicea

465. Redbreasted Rose-Finch.
Pyrrhospiza punicea, Hodgs. J. A. S. Beng. xiii. p. 953 (1844) ; Sharpe. Cat. B. Br. Mus. xii. p. 431 ; Oates, F. Brit. Ind. Birds, ii. p. 211 ; P. longirostris, Prjev. Mongol i Strana Tangut, ii. p. 95, tab, xiv, (1876), P. humii, Sharpe, op. cit. p. 433 (1888).
Male ad. (Sikhim). Crown, nape, sides of neck, and upper parts generally deep brown, with dusty brown margins ; rump pale carmine ; wings and tail dark brown, with indistinct paler margins ; forehead, supercilium ; sides of the head below the eye, chin, throat, and breast carmine-rose, with silvery white spots ; rest of under parts dull brown, striped, chiefly on the flanks, with blackish brown ; bill horn-brown, yellow at the base of the lower mandible ; legs dark horn ; iris dark brown. Culmen 0.72, wing 4.5, tail 3.5, tarsus 0.92 inch. The female has the upper parts duller than in the male, the rump feathers margined with dull green, the under parts pale fulvous, narrowly streaked with black, the breast tinged with buff.
Hab. The Himalayas at elevations of from 10,000 to 17,000 feet, from Kashmir to Kan-su, Tibet, and Western China ; is everywhere resident, passing the summer in the higher alti┬Čtudes, and wintering at lower levels.
I find scarcely anything on record respecting its habits beyond what Prjevalsky gives. He speaks of it as being shy and frequenting rocky places in the mountains, never perching on trees or bushes. Its call-note resembles that of Passer domesticus, but is much louder, and its song, which in spring is uttered from a stone or the point of a rock, is pleasing. Stoliczka found a nest made of coarse grass in Rupshu near the Thsomoriri lake, on the ground, in a. little bush of the Tibetan furze, the eggs in which were dirty white or greenish with some dark brown spots.
Pale specimens of this species have been described as separable by Prjevalsky under the name of P. longirostris, and by Dr. Sharpe under that of P. humii, but I am unable to separate this form even subspecifically, and as regards the length of the bill, I find this extremely variable. The variation in tone of colour is also considerable, specimens from Sikhim being as a rule darkest, and the red is richest in tinge, and some from Gilgit, Kan-su, and Tibet are the palest.

A Manual Of Palaearctic Birds
Dresser, Henry Eeles. A Manual of Palaearctic Birds. Vol. 1. 1902.
Title in Book: 
465. Pyrrhospiza punicea
Book Author: 
H. E. Dresser
Page No: 
Common name: 
Redbreasted Rose Finch
Red-fronted Rosefinch
Carpodacus puniceus
Vol. 1

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