Emberiza Sahara, Levaill jr. Expl. Scient. de 1’Alg. Atlas, Ois. pl. ix. bis. fig. 2 (1850) ; Dresser, ix, p. 219, pl. 682 ; (Sharpe), Cat. B. Br. Mus. xii. p. 563.
Fiseeough, Arabic ; Tabib, in Morocco.
Male ad. (Algeria). Differs from E. striolata in having the dark stripes on the head and neck finer and less clearly defined, the upper parts more rufous and only indistinctly striped, the breast and under parts unstriped and much more rufous, and the wings more rufous sienna in colour ; bill yellowish, dark horn towards the tip ; legs pale fleshy ; iris brown. Culmen 0.45, wing 3.0, tail 2.6, tarsus 0.65 inch. The female differs in having the upper parts duller and paler, the head and neck sandy grey, and the stripes less clearly defined.
Hab. Morocco, southern Algeria, and Tunis.
In general habits it resembles E. striolata but is even more tame and confiding, and frequents native houses, frequently entering the rooms in search of food, and picking up crumbs from the table. It feeds on insects, seeds, and any scraps it can pick up about the native houses, and being protected by the Arabs is even tamer than our Robin. It breeds in March or April, and the nest, which is usually placed in a hole in a wall or on a rafter, is constructed of fine twigs or sticks and grass-bents lined with hair, cotton, or wool. The eggs, usually 3 in number, are white, finely spotted with brown, the spots being usually more profuse at the larger end, often forming an irregular band or zone, and are not unlike some varieties of the egg of Passer domesticus. In size they average about 0.79 by 0.6.
502. Emberiza saharAe