Emberiza striolata, Licht.
720bis. :- Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. III, p. 497; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 186.
THE STRIOLATED BUNTING.
Length, 5.5 to 5.97 ; expanse, 9 to 9.75 ; wing, 2.87 to 3.1; tail, 2.2 to 2.75 ; bill at front, 0.35 to 0.39.
Bill, upper mandible brown to blackish-brown, lower waxy, fleshy or dingy-yellow; irides brown ; legs pale waxy, dingy or fleshy-yellow, the feet more or less tinged brownish.
The male has the forehead, top of the head, and nape greyish-white, grey or white in different specimens, each feather with a conspicuous linear, median, black streak; a narrow pure white superciliary stripe starting from the base of the bill and extending behind the eye over the ear-coverts; the lores, and a moderately broad stripe directly behind the eye (and immediately under the white stripe), involving the upper portions of the ear-coverts ; below this, starting from the base of the lower mandible, a black stripe; below this, from the angle of the lower mandible, a greyish-white stripe, which again is divided from the greyish-white of the chin by a narrow inconspicuous dark streak.
" In the fresh bird in breeding plumage, which I am describing, all these streaks and stripes are as clearly and sharply defined as if painted; but at other seasons, and in stuffed specimens, they are not so clear; the whole of the back, scapulars, and tertials are hair-brown, the former two very broadly, the latter more narrowly, margined with pale, more or less sandy or even rufous brown; in many specimens the darker median streaks of the back feathers are reduced to mere lines, and in some the rufous tinge on the upper back is well marked; the primaries and secondaries and their coverts are a mixture of hair-brown and rich rufous (recalling in color the wings of Mirafra erythroptera), the extent of each varying in different specimens, but the brown predominating in the earlier primaries and everywhere at the tips, and decreasing in extent in the hinder part of the wing and towards the bases of the feathers; the second primary, for in¬stance, will be all brown, except a narrow rufous edging for the basal two-thirds of the outer web and a broad rufous stripe on the margin of the inner web for the same distance, while one of the later secondaries will be all rufous except a narrow brown stripe running down the shaft till within one-third of the end of the feather, whence it gradually widens so as to occupy at the tip the whole of both webs; the rump and upper tail-coverts are much the same as the back, but in some specimens slightly more rufous than the lower back; and the longest of the coverts are in some specimens very narrowly tipped with very pale rufous-white; the tail is hair-brown, darker than the brown portion of the quills; all the feathers externally very narrowly margined with pale-rufous, except the external feather on each side which has the whole outer web of that color ; the throat and upper, breast are greyish white or grey, with more or less numerous and conspicuous black median stripes on the feathers. Specimens differ widely in this respect; in some the greyish-white is a mere edging to dusky black feathers ; in others only a few black spots and streaks peep out of an almost unbroken grey, and this among specimens killed at the same time, and of apparently the same age; the lower breast and the whole lower parts of the body are pale greyish-rufous, all the bases of the feathers (only seen if their tips are lifted), being a sort of bluish-dusky; the axillaries, wing-lining, and, in fact, the whole lower surface of the wings, except the points of the quills, a pate delicate salmon-rufous.
" The female only differs in being generally somewhat smaller, in having the white, grey, and black of the head, neck, throat and breast much duller (and in many specimens overcast with a sandy or pale-rufous shade), in the various stripes being less well marked, and in having the dark spots and streaks of the throat almost obsolete." :- Hume, "Ibis," 1869.
The Striolated Bunting occurs as a winter visitant to Sind, Rajputana, Kutch and Guzerat. It does not occur in the Deccan.