789. Emberiza schoeniclus.
Emberiza schoeniclus, Linn. Syst. Nat. i, p. 311 (1766); Hume, S. F. vii, p. 412; Biddulph, Ibis, 1881, p. 81; Scully, Ibis, 1881, p. 575 ; Hume, Cat. no. 720 ter ; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xii, p. 480.
Coloration. Male. After the autumn moult the forehead, crown, and nape are black, each feather broadly margined with fulvous; a broad collar round the hind neck white, the feathers with broad fulvous-ashy tips, which conceal the white bases of the feathers; the whole upper plumage and wings dark brown, each feather broadly margined with rufous or chestnut, the rump and upper tail-coverts strongly tinged with ashy; the four middle pairs of tail-feathers very dark brown, margined with rufous; the two outer pairs mostly white, the bases and a longitudinal streak along the shaft being brown or black; sides of the head rufous with concealed black bases; a broad white moustachial band more or less dimmed by rufous tips ; chin, throat, and fore neck black, with broad white edges; sides of the neck and remaining lower plumage dull white, the sides of the body streaked with ochraceous brown.
Soon after the moult the margins and tips of the feathers begin to wear away, and in full breeding-plumage the moustachial band and the collar round the hind neck become pure white ; the forehead, crown, nape, sides of the head, chin, throat, and fore neck become deep black; the margins of the feathers of the upper plumage decrease in size, causing the plumage to become much blacker.
Female. Closely resembles the male after the moult, but has no concealed black bases to the feathers of the head, chin, throat, and fore neck, these parts being rufous or fulvous, more or less streaked and mottled with black; the moustachial band, which is pale fulvous, is bordered below by another blackish band, and the breast and sides of the body are boldly streaked with rufous.
The young resemble the adult female closely.
In winter the bill is dark brown, the lower mandible paler and whitish; legs and feet dark bronze-brown; claws black; iris brown (Hume Coll.); in the summer the bill of the male becomes nearly black.
Length about 6; tail 2.7; wing 3.1; tarsus .75; bill from gape .4.
Distribution. A winter visitor to the north-west of the Empire. This species occurs in Gilgit from December to March, and a specimen in the Hume collection was obtained at Rohtak in the Punjab in December.
This Bunting has a very wide range, being found over the whole of Europe and Central and Northern Asia.