793. Emberiza stewarti.
The White-capped Bunting.
Emberiza stewarti, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xxiii, p. 215 (1854) ; Horsf. & M. Cat. ii, p. 485 ; Jerd, B. I. ii, p. 374 ; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xxxvii, pt. ii, p. 58; Hume, Cat. no. 718 ; Biddulph, Ibis, 1881, p. 81, 1832, p. 282 ; Scully, Ibis, 1881, p. 575; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xii, p. 547; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 269; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 167. Citrinella stewarti (Blyth), Hume, N. & E. p. 465.
Coloration. Male. After the autumn moult the forehead, crown, nape, and ear-coverts are grey, with brownish tips to the feathers ; a broad black supercilium, each feather tipped with grey ; the whole upper plumage and scapulars chestnut with pale fulvous margins to the feathers ; lesser and median wing-coverts dull chestnut, edged paler; greater coverts and quills dark brown, edged with rufous ; tail brown margined with rufous, the two outer pairs of feathers almost entirely white, the bases and the shafts with a narrow portion of the outer webs only being brown; chin and upper throat, produced laterally down the sides of the lower throat, black, each feather margined with whitish ; lower throat and fore neck white ; breast chestnut, margined with white ; remaining lower plumage pale fulvous, the sides of the head streaked or blotched with rufous.
In spring the margins and tips to the feathers of the crown, supercilium, upper plumage in general, chin, throat, and lower breast disappear in part or wholly by abrasion, leaving each part entirely of one colour or nearly so.
Female. Forehead, crown, nape, hind neck, back, and scapulars ashy brown, streaked with blackish, the scapulars tinged with chestnut; rump and upper tail-coverts chestnut, with paler edges and blackish shafts ; tail as in the male, but with rather less white on the two outer pairs of feathers ; wings brown, each feather margined with pale rufous or fulvous; lores and round the eye fulvous ; ear-coverts and sides of the neck brown; lower plumage pale fulvous streaked with brown.
The young resemble the female.
Bill brown, paler on lower mandible; iris slightly reddish brown ; legs and feet pinkish fleshy ; claws pale brown (Hume).
Length about 6.5; tail 3 ; wing 3.3; tarsus .75; bill from gape .4.
Distribution. The Himalayas from the Hazara country, Gilgit, and Kashmir to about Almora; the Punjab, Sind, Rajputana, and the N.W. Provinces as far east as Etawah. This species is found in the plains on the lower ranges of the Himalayas in winter only and on the higher parts of the latter (up to 6000 or 8000 feet) in summer. It extends into Afghanistan.
Habits, &c. Breeds in June and July, constructing a deep cup-shaped nest, of fibres and grass, in low bushes, or on the ground by the side of a road or bank. The eggs, usually four in number, are white mottled with purple, and measure about .78 by .59.