1124. Emberiza stewarti

(1124) Emberiza stewarti Blyth.
Emberiza stewarti, Fauna. B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol iii, p. 203.
Within our limits this Bunting has been found breeding from Afghanistan and Baluchistan to Garhwal.
Wardlaw-Ramsay remarked about this Bunting when writing of Afghanistan :—“This Bunting begins to breed about the end of April ; and, during the months of May and June, I found great numbers of their nests. They were almost all situated under roots on sloping banks or hill-sides, and were composed entirely of dried grass.”
Rattray and Buchanan in the Garhwal Hills and many oologists in Kashmir have found their nests since Ramsay wrote, but, with the exception of Osmaston and Whymper, most have looked for their nests too late and have therefore found but few.
The notes of all, however, agree with those of Wardlaw-Ramsay. Most birds breed between 6,000 and 8,000 feet, a few higher and a few down to 5,000 feet. For breeding purposes they frequent open hill-sides, sometimes those covered with pasture and low bushes, but often those which are comparatively bare and rocky. The nest is a cup, sometimes shallow, generally rather deep, composed either entirely of fine dry grass or, less often, “of twigs and grass” (Rattray) or “of weed-stems and grass” (Osmaston). The lining is of grass more or less mixed with hair and sometimes entirely of the latter. The only exception I know of is one found by Rattray “lined with grass and fine roots.” It is always well concealed, and is placed on the ground in dense grass or in among the roots of a bush. Other places from which Osmaston has taken nests are “in a cleft in a rock on rocky steep ground," “on a ledge of rook, concealed by a tuft of coarse grass,” and often “under a rock” or “tinder a boulder.”
The breeding season commences in April, Osmaston taking eggs as early as the 15th of that month and as late as the 11th June. Rattray took two nests in July, one on the 7th and one on the 8th, Near Quetta Betham took one nest on the 29th of June.
The normal full clutch of eggs is four, but three may often be found incubated, and rarely one finds five.
The ground-colour is a very pale grey often tinged with lilac, freckled all over with reddish-brown intermixed with purple-black or black spots, scrawls and blotches varying much in size and bold¬ness, In many eggs also there are pinkish or purplish blotching and cloudings, while a few eggs have bold definite blotches of purple with underlying clouds and smears of pale grey and neutral tint.
In shape the eggs are moderate ovals, generally obtuse, and seldom at all pointed. The texture is neither very fine nor close and has no gloss.
One hundred eggs average 19.7 x 14.7 mm, : maxima 21.1 x 15.0 and 19.6 x 16.0 mm. ; minima 18.2 x 14.0 mm.
There seems to be nothing on record about the building of the nest or the incubation,

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 3. 1934.
Title in Book: 
1124. Emberiza stewarti
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
White Capped Bunting
White-capped Bunting
Emberiza stewarti
Vol. 3
Term name: 

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