800. Emberiza luteola.
The Red-headed Bunting.
Emberiza luteola, Sparrm. Mus. Carls, fasc. iv. Taf. 93 (1788); Sharpe, Cat, B. M. xii, p. 506. Euspiza luteola (Sparrm.), Blyth, Cut. p. 128; Horsf. & M. Cat. ii, p. 486 ; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 378; Hume, S. F. iii, p. 498 ; Scully, S. F. iv. p. 167 ; Wardlaw Ramsay, Ibis, 1880, p. 66; Hume, Cat. no. 722; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 271. Gandam, Hind.; Dalchidi, Sind; Pacha Jinuwayi, Tel.
Coloration. Male. After the autumn moult the forehead, crown, and nape are rich golden brown, the feathers tipped with ashy ; hind neck and sides of neck olive-yellow; back, scapulars, and lesser coverts olive-yellow streaked with brown; rump yellow; upper tail-coverts olive-brown, margined with olive-yellow; tail dark brown, edged with fulvous ; middle and greater coverts and quills dark brown, margined with fulvous ; lores, sides of the head, chin, throat, and middle portion of breast chestnut, the feathers margined with ashy; sides of the breast and remainder of lower plumage deep yellow.
In spring the forehead, crown, and nape become deep golden brown, and the lores, sides of the head, chin, throat, and breast pure chestnut. This change is caused by the abrasion of the ashy margins on those parts.
Occasionally the golden brown of the crown suffuses the entire upper plumage. This occurs probably in very old males only.
Female. The whole upper plumage ashy brown, the back and scapulars streaked with dark brown and the rump tinged with olive-yellow ; tail and wings as in the male ; lores pale ashy white ; sides of the head and neck dark fulvous ; the whole lower plumage pale fulvous, the abdomen washed with yellow, and the under tail-coverts pure yellow.
The young bird resembles the female, but has the whole upper plumage, sides of the throat, and the whole breast thickly streaked with brown.
Iris dark brown ; legs and feet brown; bill greyish brown above, darkest on the culmen and greenish horn below (Butler).
Length about 7; tail 2.8; wing 3.5; tarsus .8; bill from gape .6.
Distribution. A winter visitor to the plains of India from the foot of the Himalayas down to the Nilgiris and from Sind to Chutia Nagpur. This species passes through Gilgit on migration and breeds in Turkestan and Northern Asia. It extends to Afghanistan, Turkestan, and Persia *.
Habits, &c. Not so commonly found in flocks, and not associating in as large numbers as the last species, and less confined to well-cultivated tracts. The nest and eggs are very similar to those of E. melanocephala, and have been taken in Eastern Turkestan by Stoliczka and Scully in May and June, and by Wardlaw Ramsay in the Hariab valley, Western Afghanistan.