Coccothraustes vulgaris, Pall. Zoogr. Boss. As. ii. p. 12 ; Gould, B. of E. iii. pl. 199 ; id. B. of Gt. Brit. iii. pl. 40 ; Hewitson, i. p. 205, pl. lii. ; figs. 2, 3 ; Newton, ii. p. 98 ; Dresser, iii. p. 575, pl. 175 Saunders, p. 171 ; Lilford, iv. p. 46, pl. 23 ; Loxia Coccothraustes, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 299 ; (Naum.), iv. p. 435 ; Taf. 114 ; (Sharpe), Cat. B. Br. Mus. xii. p. 36 ; C. japonicus, Sharpe, tom. cit. p. 39 ; C. humii, id tom. cit. p. 40, pl. i. (1888).
Grosbec, French ; Bico-grossudo, Portug. ; Cascanueces, Span. : Frosone, Ital. ; Kernbeisser, German ; Appelvink, Dutch ; Kjerne-bider, Dan. ; Kirseboerfugl, Norw ; Stenknack, Swed. ; Nokkavar-punen, Finn. ; Dubonos, Russ.
Male ad. (Spain). Forehead yellowish fawn, becoming brownish on the hind-crown ; a collar round the hind-neck ashy grey ; mantle dark chest¬nut-brown ; rump fawn-brown ; quills glossy blue-black, with a long white patch on the inner web ; the inner ones after the fifth peculiarly widened and hooked at the tip ; larger coverts white, darkening to fawn on the innermost ; middle tail-feathers greyish brown, tipped with white, the rest black, with the terminal half of the inner web white ; lores, a narrow line at the base of the bill, and throat deep black ; under parts vinous fawn, middle of abdomen and under tail-coverts white ; bill bluish ; legs flesh colour ; iris brownish grey. Culmen 0.85, wing 3.9, tail 2.5, tarsus 0.9 inch. In the winter the colours are duller, and the beak dull flesh-colour. The female is duller, the black on the throat less extensive, and the white on the wings tinged with dull greyish. The young bird has the head yellowish brown, the upper parts yellowish chestnut-brown, the throat and under parts dull white, on the throat washed with yellow, all spotted and barred with blackish brown.
Hab. Europe, as far north as Southern Sweden and occa¬sionally to Upland ; in Norway to Trondhjem ; Asia Minor, Persia, N.W. Punjab, Turkestan, and as far east as Japan ; North Africa rarely.
Frequents groves, especially hornbeam woods, gardens, and orchards, and is extremely shy and wary, usually perching in the top of a tree, from whence it can see all round. Its flight, though laboured, is swift and direct, and it can traverse long distances. Its call-note is a prolonged zee, and its song is merely a repetition and variation of the call-note and a sharp call resembling the syllable knipps with modulations. It feeds on hard-shelled seeds or fruits, beech nuts, conifer seeds, etc., and is very partial to peas and the kernels of cherry stones. The young are, however, fed chiefly on caterpillars. The nest is placed on a fruit tree, an oak, or often on a hornbeam, thorn, or holly, and is built of twigs, grass-bents, and rootlets. The eggs, from 4 to 6 in number, are dull greenish grey or pale olivaceous, marked with purplish underlying shell-blotches, and brown surface-spots, blotches, and lines, and measure about 0.92 by 0.69.
421. Coccothraustes vulgaris