1136. Emberiza striolata striolata

(1136) Emberiza striolata striolate (Licht.).
THE INDIAN STRIOLATED BUNTING.
Emberiza striolata striolata, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. iii, p. 217.
The range of this Bunting extends from Nubia to the North-West "Frontier of India and to Saugur in the Central Provinces.
I can find nothing on record except Hume’s notes as to the breeding of this Bunting within Indian limits, but in 1897 Mr. F. E. Kemp wrote to me from Saugur in the Central Provinces to say that he had found nests of E. striolata Two eggs which were in one nest were given to Col. R. H. Rattray, and finally came into my possession. The following year Col, Rattray obtained this same Bunting breeding at Thull, on the North-West, Frontier, finding one nest which also contained two eggs. Nest and eggs agree with those taken by Hume.
Hume’s account of their nidification is as follows:—“The breeding season appears to be November and December. The natives say that they also lay early in July, at the commencement of the rains ; but as to this I can say nothing. On the 12th November, I myself accidentally stumbled upon two nests. I was waiting slowly amongst the loose blocks and rocky shingles of the Southern flanks of the Taragurh Hill, when a female suddenly sprang up and darted off from within 2 inches of my foot. I looked down, and there, on the sloping hill-side, overhung by a moderate-sized block of greyish quartz, was a little nest from which the bird had risen, and which I had been within an ace of stepping on. Close at hand were two or three small tufts of yellow withered grass, but these were several inches distant from the nest. This latter (which, laid on the hill-side, was some 3 or 4 inches thick on the valley side and barely three-fourths of an inch towards the hill) was composed at the base and everywhere externally of small thorny acacia-twigs and very coarse roots of grass. This, however, was a mere founda¬tion and casing, on and in which the true nest was constructed of fine grass-stems somewhat loosely put together, the bottom being lined with soft white feathers. The egg-cavity was circular and cup-shaped, about 2.25 inches in diameter and 1.25 in depth, and contained two chicks and one rotten egg.
“Scarcely twenty yards further, on a slightly sloping slab of stone, partly overhung by a huge block, between two tufts of dried grass, springing from the line of junction of the slab and block, I found a second precisely similar nest containing two fresh eggs.
“The three eggs thus obtained were regular, moderately broad ovals, slightly compressed towards one end, but somewhat obtuse at both. The shells were very delicate, and had a slight gloss. The ground-colour differed somewhat in all three ; in one it was pale greenish-, in another pale bluish-, and in the third faintly brownish-, white. All were spotted, speckled, and minutely, but not very densely, freckled with brown ; a sort of reddish olive-brown in two, rather more umber in the third. Small clouds, blotches and streaks of the same colour and of a pale purple were inter¬mingled with the finer markings. In two eggs the markings were far most numerous towards the large end, where in one they are partially confluent ; on the third they are pretty evenly distributed over the whole surface, being, however, rather denser in a broad irregular zone round the middle of the egg.
“On the 16th I found another nest, precisely similar to that already described, containing two fresh eggs.
“These five eggs have varied from 0.75 to 0.8 in length and from 0.55 to 0.58 in breadth."
Later Hume’s men found another nest on a niche in a little temple on the ridge of the Taragurh Hill, and when he inspected this the bird allowed him to watch her within a couple of feet.
The nests were all taken between 1,500 and 2,600 feet elevation, and all were found between the 12th and 19th November.
The eggs taken by Kemp and Rattray agree well with those taken by Hume and with others taken by Petherick in Persia, but they average bigger.
Fifteen eggs, including Hume’s, average 20.0 x 15.0 mm. : maxima 21.3 x 15.3 and 20.3 x 15.9 mm. ; minima 18.5 x 14.0 mm.

BookTitle: 
The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Reference: 
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 3. 1934.
Title in Book: 
1136. Emberiza striolata striolata
Spp Author: 
Licht.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
1136
Year: 
1934
Page No: 
97
Common name: 
Striolated Bunting
M_ID: 
32046
M_SN: 
Emberiza striolata striolata
Volume: 
Vol. 3
Term name: 
id: 
14221

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