751. Haematospiza sipahi.
The Scarlet Finch.
Corythus sipahi, Hodgs. As. Res. xix, p. 151 (1830). Haematospiza boetonensis (Lath.), Blyth, J. A. S. B. xiii, p. 951 (1844) ; id. Oat. p. 122. Haematospiza sipahi (Hodgs.), Blyth, Cat. p. 342; Horsf. & M. Cat. ii, p. 454; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 394; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xxxix, pt. ii, p. 110 ; Hume, Cat. no. 735. Carpodacus sipahi (Hodgs.), Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xii, p. 397.
The Scarlet Grosbeak, Jerd.; Phanying-pho biu, Lepch.; Labbia maphoo, Bhut.
Coloration. Male. The whole head and body brilliant scarlet, the concealed bases of the feathers ashy; wings black, every feather margined with scarlet; tail black with narrow crimson margins; thighs black ; under tail-coverts black, with scarlet tips ; axillaries and under wing-coverts ashy, with very small scarlet tips.
Female. Rump bright yellow; with this exception the whole upper plumage, sides of neck, lesser and median wing-coverts are dark brown, each feather with a large and well-defined greenish-yellow margin; greater coverts and quills dark brown, margined with greenish yellow on the outer webs ; tail dark brown, with a greenish-yellow tinge on the outer webs ; region of the eye and cheeks ochraceous yellow; ear-coverts greenish yellow with pale shafts; the whole lower plumage pale ochraceous, each feather with a subterminal black mark showing more or less clearly and sometimes concealed.
The young bird resembles the adult female; the male moults the first autumn into the female plumage again, but immediately after commences to assume the adult male plumage by a change of colour in the feathers, and probably attains the full plumage by the first breeding-season.
Bill yellow; legs brown; iris hazel-brown (Jerdon).
Length about 7.5; tail 2.8; wing 4; tarsus .8; bill from gape .8.
Distribution. Nepal and Sikhim from 5000 to 10,000 feet according to season; the Khasi hills.
Habits, &c. According to Jerdon frequents both forest and bushy ground and has a loud whistling note. This species is captured in the Khasi hills and kept in captivity.