1062. Propasser rhodochrous

(1062) Propasser rhodochrous (Vigors).
Propasser rodochrous, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. iii, p. 129.
This very handsome little Rose-Finch is distributed over the Himalayas from Kashmir to Nepal and Western Sikkim, as Stevens records it from Tonglo (Journ. Comb. Nat. Hist. Soc. vol. xxx, p. 370, 1925).
It breeds from 10,000 feet upwards, certainly as high as 13,000 and probably up to 15,000 feet, at which height birds have been observed in July and August when they must have been breeding. Osmaston in Kashmir at 12,000 feet and Whymper in Garhwal at 11,000 to 13,000 feet found them breeding both in the open bush and juniper-clad slopes and the highest-growing forests of Silver-fir and birch, where the trees were becoming stunted and scanty but the undergrowth thick.
The earliest note I can find on the taking of the nest is that of Buchanan (Journ. Bomb. Nat. Hist. Soc. vol. xv, p. 132, 1903). He records:—“I found two nests of this bird in the first week in August [Sonamurg] at an elevation of 10,500 feet. The nests were cup-shaped, made of twigs and grass, and lined with horse¬hair. They were placed three or four feet from the ground in bushes ; the eggs, four and five in number respectively, are a bright blue with a few large black spots, chiefly at the larger end.”
A still briefer note by Whymper is given in the same journal (vol. xx, p. 1150, 1911), but I have a grand series of the eggs taken, by him with many notes which give a fuller idea of the nidification. The data, collected from odd letters, data-tickets, etc., may be summarized as follows:—
“The Pink-browed Rose-Finch breeds wherever it is found from the latter half of July to the end of August. I have taken nests and eggs above Sonamurg in Kashmir at about 11,000 feet, at Phurbia and the Pindari Glacier in Kumaon 11,000 and 13,000 feet, and again in the Nila and other lofty valleys of Garhwal at approximately the same height but generally above 12,000 feet. The nests are very much like those of the Beautiful Rose-Finch and are placed in similar positions but, whereas this bird prefers low thorny bushes to anything else, the Pink-browed Rose-Finch, though it often uses these for its nest, seems to prefer juniper hushes. I have also taken its nest from rose-bushes. The nest is a rather deep cup made of dry grass bents and a very little moss and lined with horsehair ; sometimes a few twigs and roots may he added to and mixed with the grass and sometimes the lining may be of some other kind of hair or fur. They are placed low down, nearly all those I have seen being built under two feet from the ground and, occasionally, within a few inches of it. Nests and eggs are, I think, quite indistinguishable from those of the Beautiful Rose-Finch, but both these birds sit so close and are so tame that it is almost invariably easy to identify the hen on the nest.
“They lay four or five eggs, exactly like those of pulcherrimus.” To the above I can add little. The eggs, as Whymper says, are the same deep blue with black spots as are those of the Beautiful Rose-Finch, but they average a good deal smaller and are, on the whole, a trifle broader in proportion.
One hundred eggs average 18.8 x 14.2 mm. : maxima 21.2 x 14.8 and 20.6 x 15.0 mm. ; minima 17.3 x 13.6 and 17.9 x 13.3 mm.
Osmaston, it should be noted, once took a clutch of six eggs in a nest built “in Lonicera bush in very open silver-fir forest with plenty of undergrowth, 3' from the ground, composed of dry grass and weed stems and lined hair.”

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: 
1062. Propasser rhodochrous
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Pink Browed Rose Finch
Red-mantled Rosefinch
Carpodacus rhodochlamys
Vol. 3

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