792. Emberiza leucocephala.
Emberiza leucocephala, S. G. Gm. N. Comm. Acad. Sc. Imp. Petrov. xv, p. 480, tab. xxiii, fig. 3 (1770); Hume Henders. Lah. to Yark. p. 254; Hume, Cat. no. 712; Biddulph, Ibis, 1881, p. 79, 1882, p. 282; Sadly, Ibis, 1881, p. 574; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xii, p. 549. Emberiza pithyornis, Gm. Syst. Nat. i, p. 875 (1788); Horsf. & M. Cat. ii, p. 482 ; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 370. Emberiza albida, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xviii, p. 811 (1849); id. Cat. p. 128.
The White-crowned Bunting, Jerd.
Coloration, Male. After the moult the forehead and crown are ashy, streaked with brown, the base of the feathers white, but not showing at first; lores, round the eye, and a short but broad supercilium, cheeks, chin, throat, and sides of the neck chestnut, each feather margined with white ; ear-coverts brown, divided down the middle by a band of white which extends under the eye to the gape; hind neck ashy, turning to rufous on the back and scapulars, the feathers of which are streaked with black; rump and upper tail-coverts chestnut, margined with white; tail dark brown, narrowly margined with pale rufous, the two outer pairs of feathers with the terminal two-thirds of the inner web, and a margin on the outer web, white; lesser coverts pale rufous; median and greater coverts and tertiaries black, with broad rufous margins; quills brown, narrowly margined with pale rufous ; a large patch of white on the lower throat; breast chestnut, margined with white; abdomen white; sides of the body white, streaked with chestnut.
In the spring the crown and nape become pure white, bounded on each side and on the forehead by a black band ; the chestnut on the sides of the head and on the chin and throat becomes pure, owing to the white margins wearing off ; the breast and sides of the body also become purer chestnut, but the white on these parts never entirely disappears.
Between the two extreme plumages described every intermediate stage is to be found.
Female. The forehead, crown, and nape ashy streaked with brown, and without any white at the base of the feathers ; the remaining upper plumage, wings, and tail as in the male, but duller ; the white band on the side of the head and all chestnut on this part and the chin and throat are wanting the former part-being more or less plain brown, and the two latter whitish streaked with brown; breast and sides of the body rufous, streaked with brown and varied with white; abdomen white.
The young bird appears to resemble the male.
Upper mandible very dark brown, the base from gape to nostril yellowish ; lower mandible very pale horny bluish ; legs yellowish fleshy, feet slightly tinged brown; iris dark brown (Hume Coll.).
Length about 7; tail 3.4 ; wing 3.6; tarsus .75; bill from gape .5.
Distribution. A winter visitor to Gilgit, Kashmir, and the Himalayas down to Garhwal. At this season the Pine-Bunting is also found in Afghanistan and Europe, but in the summer it is confined to Northern Asia.