1071. Carpodacus rubieilla severtzovi

(1071) Carpodacus rubicilla severtzovi (Sharpe).
THE TURKESTAN GREAT ROSE-FINCH.
Carpodacus severizovi, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. iii, p. 139.
Carpodacus rubicilla severizovi, ibid. vol. viii, p. 654.
This grand Finch is very common in South and East Tibet, extending through Ladak and Kashmir into Turkestan and breeding at 12,000 feet up to at least 15,000 and probably higher.
The first record of this bird’s neat and eggs is that of Dresser (Ibis, 1900, p. 342), who describes some sent home to him by Capt. R. Steen. Of the nest, which was taken on the 1st August at Kangma, 30 miles from Gyantse, Dresser remarks :—“It con¬sisted of dry grass and roots with a thick lining of hair; it was placed on a low bush about a foot from the ground, and contained four almost fresh eggs. These low bushes grow about the edges of the small fields at the foot of the nullahs.”
Ludlow found this Finch around Gyantse but records all the breeding birds token by him as C. r. lapersonnei. On the other hand some mangled specimens sent to me by Macdonald with eggs were all, undoubtedly, severtzovi, though a few clutches from the Northern hills were of C. r. rubicilloides and not of Meinertzhagen's Ladak race so far as I could tell.
Steen, Kennedy and many others have sent me series of this Finch’s eggs, often with skins of the birds, which had been shot off, or trapped on, the nests. The following is a summary of their notes:—
“The birds are exceedingly common all oyer the Gyantse plateau and also on the hills all round between 13,000 and 15,000 feet. They are also equally common at Yatung, Phari and other places in Southern Tibet.
“The birds breed both in the desert plateaux when there is sufficient cover in the way of Tibetan furze, gorse, Caragana bushes or Juniper. They also breed in bush and Willow cover by stream sides and by irrigation ditches running through or beside cultivated fields. In fact a low thick bush in almost any position or in any kind of country may hold a nest of this bird. They may be anything from a deep cup to a wide shallow one and are made principally of coarse grass and roots lined densely with hair. In a few instances leaves and supple twigs are mixed with the grass and sometimes tufts of hair and wool are also worked in with it. Almost invariably, however, grass forms the major part of the materials used instead of twigs as in the nests of C. rubicilloides. The lining is sometimes of wool instead of hair and sometimes of the two mixed, while it is always thick and well matted. Measure¬ments of nests are between 5.1/2 and inches in diameter but they vary greatly in depth. One nest sent to me for examination was barely 2 inches deep whilst another was over 4. The cavity for the eggs is somewhere about four inches wide and anything from 1 to 3 in depth.
“As a rule the nest is built between one and three feet from the ground, but occasionally it may be placed in the crown of a pollard willow six or seven feet up,
“The breeding season is June, July and August, most birds laying in the latter half of July and the early part of August.”
This bird breeds in Ladak in the same country as that in which C. r. lapersonnei breeds, and Osmaston took nests of both species at Shushal, the latter on the 6th and 7th July, and severtzovi on the 6th. Of the two nests taken by him on the 6th one was built in Tibetan furze, 3 feet from the ground, and the other in a Willow about 8 feet up.
The eggs in a full clutch number four or five and are of the usual deep blue-green, sparsely but boldly spotted at the larger end with black or, rarely, with reddish-black. The secondary spots, if present, are of deep lavender. I have one clutch of five eggs which are spotless and another of the same number which is marked with tiny specks, long lines and tiny hieroglyphics.
Eighty eggs average 24.0 x 17.0 mm. : maxima 28.8 x 18.3 and 24.9 x 18.7 mm. ; minima 21.9 x 17.1 and 25.0 x 16.7 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: 
1071. Carpodacus rubieilla severtzovi
Spp Author: 
Sharpe
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
1071
Year: 
1934
Page No: 
56
Common name: 
Turkestan Great Rose Finch
M_ID: 
30688
M_SN: 
Carpodacus rubicilla severtzovi
Volume: 
Vol. 3
id: 
14169

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