(1138) Emberiza citrinella erythrogenys.
The Eastern YELLOW-HAMMER.
Emberiza erythrogenys Brehm, Vogelfang, p. 414 (1855) (Sarepta).
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Head yellow, marked in varying degree on the crown with dark green feathers with blackish shafts; in most birds the dark green shows principally on the sides of the crown and nape, leaving supercilia and a coronal streak purer yellow; sides and back of neck greenish brown obsoletely streaked: mantle rufescent ashy-brown, boldly streaked with black; rump chestnut with no streaks but fringed with pale ashy when freshly moulted; tail dark brown, the feathers edged with pale ashy, the outermost pair mostly white on the terminal half of the inner web and the next pair with a smaller white patch; lesser wing-coverts brown tipped with chestnut; median coverts brown tipped with chestnut and yellow; greater coverts and innermost secondaries blackish edged with rufous-chestnut; primary-coverts and primaries blackish edged with yellow, the edges broader on the inner primaries and outer secondaries; below yellow, the throat- often with black specks except on the oldest birds ; the breast with a broad band of mingled olive-green and chestnut and the flanks more olive-green, profusely streaked with dark brown and sometimes with rufous patches.
Colours of soft parts. Iris dark brown; upper mandible dark bluish-horny, lower mandible yellowish-horny; legs and feet flesh-colour or pale fleshy-brown.
Measurements. Total length about 160 mm.; wing 85 to 89 mm.; tail 73 to 75 mm.; tarsus about 20 to 21 mm.; culmen about 11 to 12 mm.
Female. Similar to the male but u*ith less yellow and more green on the head; breast and flanks more brown and less chestnut than in the male and the underparts often paler yellow.
Young birds are mottled brown and yellow on head; upper plumage like the adult but with broad chestnut edges to the feathers; lower parts yellow, much streaked throughout with brown.
Distribution. Russia and West Siberia; "West to East Prussia, East to Altai and Yeneser, Turkestan, Persia, Central Asia and Asia Minor. How far West this bird should be considered to be of this race is doubtful but specimens obtained by Meiklejohn East of Reval and Esthonia appear to be referable to it.
Nidification. Quite indistinguishable from the Common Yellow-Hammer. The nest is a cup made of grass, roots, weed-stems, moss and leaves with a lining of fine grass and sometimes, as with all Buntings, a little hair. It may be placed in a bank, among the weeds etc. at the foot of a hedge, or occasionally in a bush or clump of furze or broom. The eggs, three to five in number, vary in ground-colour from the palest pink, cream, yellowish- or bluish-grey, almost white, to rather warm tints of the same. The marks consist principally of fine lines of reddish-brown or dark blackish-brown irregularly distributed over the whole surface but usually more numerous at the larger end; the secondary marks consist of more smudgy lines and washes of pale lavender, lavender-grey or pinkish-grey. Thirty eggs average 20.7 x 16.1 mm.: maxima 21.6 x 16.6 and 21.1 x 17.1 mm.; minima 19.9 x 15.7 and 20.7 x 15.0 mm.
Habits differ in no way from those of the Common Yellow-Hammer.