772. Hypacanthis spinoides.
The Himalayan Greenfinch.
Carduelis spinoides, Vigors, P. Z. S. 1831, p. 44; Gould, Cent. pl. 33, fig. 2. Chrysomitris spinoides (Vig.), Blyth, Cat. p. 123; Horsf. & M. Cat. ii, p. 493; Jerd. B. L ii, p. 409; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xxxvii, pt. ii, p. 61 ; Blanf. J.A.S. B. xii, pt. ii, p. 66 ; Brooks, J. A. S. B. xli, pt. ii, p. 84; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xiv, pt. ii, p. 200; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xii, p. 201. Hypacanthis spinoides (Vig.), Hume, N. & E. p. 472; id. Cat. no. 750; Scully, S. F. viii, p. 336 ; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd. ed. ii, p. 156.
Coloration. Male. Forehead either black or yellow or a mixture of both, the differences probably dependent on age; a very broad eyebrow, the sides of the neck meeting behind and forming a more or less distinct collar, the lores, a patch under the eye, a narrow band between the ear-coverts and the cheeks, the rump, and whole lower plumage bright yellow ; crown, nape, ear-coverts, and a portion of the cheeks black tinged with green ; back and scapulars dark greenish brown, sometimes suffused with yellow ; upper tail-coverts greenish brown; tail with the two middle pairs of feathers dark brown, the others brown largely mixed with yellow, the outermost pair being yellow with brown tips and brown shaft-streaks; lesser and median coverts yellow ; greater coverts black tipped with yellow ; primary-coverts and quills black, all the quills except the first primary with a patch of yellow on the outer web ; the later secondaries and tertiaries broadly tipped and margined with white.
Female. Resembles the male, but has the yellow of the plumage paler and the dark upper plumage more tinged with green ; the forehead appears to be always black or brown.
The young bird has the lower plumage pale yellow streaked with brown; the upper plumage dull greenish brown streaked with dark brown, the rump being merely tinged with yellow ; wing-coverts greenish brown, tipped with pale yellow ; quills and tail as in the adult but with less yellow; sides of head brown where the adult is black.
The amount of yellow on the forehead of the adult male appears to depend more on age than on season; some birds in January have a great deal of yellow on this part and a few summer birds fail to have any.
Bill fleshy, brownish on culmen and dusky at tip ; iris light or dark brown ; feet brownish fleshy ; claws dusky (Scully).
Length about 5; tail 1.9; wing 3.1; tarsus .65; bill from gape .5.
Distribution. The Himalayas from the Pir Panjal range in Kashmir to Sikhim ; Manipur. This species is found up to about 9000 feet.
Habits, &c. Breeds in July and August, constructing a cup-shaped nest of fine grass, hair, and moss in a branch of a tree and laying three eggs, which are pale green speckled with black, and measure about .69 by .52.