THE JAPANESE HAWFINCH.
Coccothraustes personatus, Temm, et Schl. Faun. Jap. p. 91, pl. lii. (1850). Hesperiphona personatus, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av. p. 506 (1850). Eophona personata, Gould, Birds Asia, v. pl. 18 (1851).
Coccothraustes nippon, Licht. Nomencl. Av. Mus. Berol, p. 46 (1854),
Coccothraustes melanurus, Scl. P. Z. S. 1860, p. 243.
Eophona personata, Swinh. P. Z. S. 1863, pp. 299, 337.
Coccothraustes personatus, Whitely, Ibis, 1867, p. 201.
Eophona personata, Swinh. P. Z. S. 1870, p. 448.
Coccothraustes personata, Gray, Hand-List Birds, ii. p. 88 (1870).
Coccothraustes nippon, Gray, Hand-List Birds, ii. p. 88, pt. (1870).
Eophona personata, Swinh. P. Z. S. 1871, p. 386.
Coccothraustes personata, David, N. Arch. Mus. vii. Bull. p. 11 (1871).
Eophona personata, Elwes, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1873, p. 664.
Eophona personata, Swinh. Ibis, 1875, pp. 121, 146.
Eophona personata, Dyb. et Tacz. J. fur O. 1875, pp. 242, 254, et 1876, p. 199.
Eophona personata, Tacz. Bull. Soc. Zool. Fr. i. 1876, p. 181.
Eophona personata, David et Oust. Ois. Chine, p. 346, pl. 91 (1877).
Eophona personata, Swinh. Ibis, 1877, p. 145.
Coccothraustes personatus, Blak. et Pryer, Ibis, 1878, p. 245.
Coccothraustes personatus, Russ, Stubenvogel, p. 514 (1879).
Coccothraustes personata, Blak. et Pryer, Birds Japan, p. 175 (1882).
Eophona personata, Jouy, Pr. U. S. Nat. Mus. vi. p. 295 (1884).
Coccothraustes personatus, Blakiston, Amend. List B. Japan, pp. 18, 63 (1884).
Eophona personata, Sharpe, Cat. B. in B. Mus. xii. pp. 30, 818 (1888).
Figures, Temm. et Schl. Faun. Jap. pl. lii. Gould, B. Asia, pl. 18. David et Oust. Ois. Chine, pl. 91.
Chinese. Ou-toung, and La-tsung.
English. Japanese Hawfinch. Masked Haufinch. Masked Grosbeak. Japanese Grosbeak.
French. Le Gros-bee du Japon. Le Gros-bec masque.
German. Der Maskenkernbeisser. Japanesischer Kernbeisser. Schwarzkopfiger Kernbeisser.
Habitat. Japan, extending into North, North-western, and Central China.
Male. Crown of head, lores, base of cheeks, and chin glossy purplish-black ; nape of neck, back, scapulars and rump pale ashy-grey, tinged with pale rufous-brown on the rump ; lesser, median, and greater wing-coverts glossy steel-blue, the innermost half of the latter like the scapulars ; secondaries black, broadly edged on the outer webs with steel-blue ; tertials like the back ; bastard-wing, primaries and eoverts black ; first feathers black, with a small white spot on the edge of the inner web, an irregular white band across the remainder, diminishing on the outer webs only of the three innermost feathers ; upper tail-coverts and central tail-feathers steel-blue, tipped with black, outer ones black ; ear-eoverts, throat, breast and sides like the back, paling towards the black frontal band of face ; axillaries, under wing-coverts, abdomen, thighs and under tail- coverts nearly pure white ; under surface of wings brownish-black ; “iris light hazel” ; “bill yellow,” base purple tinged with green ; feet reddish flesh colour : length 8.1, wing 4.35, tail 3.25, tars. 0.9, culm. 0.95.
Female. Similar to male, but without the black crown; and generally paler ; bill entirely yellow, without the purple base.
Obser. According to Mr. Gould, the black crown of the male is absent in the female, but subsequent authors and collectors state that the two sexes are scarcely separable, the purple base to the mandibles being only seasonal. When a black-crowned specimen is marked female, it occurs to me that the sex has not been carefully determined. The specimen kindly lent to me by Professor A. Newton from the Cambridge Museum has the feathers of the whole of the back, chest and flanks beautifully marked with four or five faint wavy water-lines ; these bars are entirely absent in the three wild birds in my own collection.
THE Japanese Hawfinch is one of the largest and most beautiful of the group to which it belongs, and is easily distinguished from the Black-tailed Hawfinch of Southern China, by the black tips to the primaries, which are white in the latter bird when adult.
This species was first described by Messrs. Temminck and Schlegel in their ‘Fauna Japonica,’ published in 1850 ; since that date, and during the last thirty-eight years, many travellers and collectors have visited the countries inhabited by this bird, without obtaining any authentic detailed history of its habits or nidification ; it is undoubtedly a peculiar moun¬tainous resident, and is supposed to breed on the highest snow-clad volcanoes of Japan and Central China, and must endure extreme cold, from the great altitude at which it has been procured.
In Mr. J. Gould’s ‘Birds of Asia’ will be found excellent figures of both sexes of this species, and from the text I give the following notes :-
“The bird is well figured in Messrs. Temminck and Schiedel's ‘ Fauna Japonica,’ but no account whatever is given of its habits, nor have they even mentioned the localities in which it was found. I believe that a seasonal change of colour takes place in the bill of this species, as well as in that of Eophona melanura, as the examples in the Earl of Derby’s collec¬tion exhibit a deep purple colouring around the base and at the tip. A considerable difference occurs in the sexes ; the black of the face and head, so conspicuous in the male, being entirely wanting in the female.’’
Mr. H. Whitely procured “one specimen only (a male), shot in a wood at Hakodadi. It is a rather powerful bird, as, although very badly wounded, it flew nearly 300 yards before it fell. Length 8.75 in., wing 5.25. Bill —upper mandible yellow, marked with dark-green streaks towards the crown of the head ; lower mandible yellow, with a slight tinge of green ; legs and feet greenish flesh-colour ; eye light hazel.”
It is found at Pekin according to Mr. R. Swinhoe, and in his ‘Ornitho¬logical Notes made at Chefoo’ he says the “name in the MS. Illustrations is La-tsung (M. D. 6854, 11209), or Wax-bill. This is applied to Eophona melanura in the south, where this larger bird does not occur.”
Messrs. Blakiston and Pryer state that it is “found commonly on Fujisan in July, has a pleasing whistle, and is capable of being made very tame. Examples were also obtained in Yezo, Oyama, and Shikoku. Specimens were also observed in the Museum at Tokio and Hakodadi.”
It was collected by M. P. L. Jouy, who says :—“This species probably breeds on Fuji-Yama, as they were taken in June and July, but it is apparently not very common. It was also found at Tate-Yama, Shinshiu, in winter. The male from Fuji-Yama dated June 30, 1882, had the bill chrome yellow, base slightly greenish ; feet pale flesh-colour. The female from Tate-Yama had the iris dark reddish brown ; bill pale yellow, base slightly greenish ; tarsi and toes pale flesh-colour.”
Mr. F. Ringer’s collection contained examples from Nagasaki.
I am indebted to Mr. H. Seebohm for the loan of two (f and g) very beautiful skins from Fujisan in Japan ; which are in my opinion both males.
No. Sex. Mus. Locality. Length. Wing. Tail. Tars. Culm.
a Male E. B. Japan. 8.6 0 3.25 0.85 0
b Male E. B. Japan. 8.1 4.35 3.25 0.9 0.95
c Male E. B. Japan. 8 4.2 3.25 0.85 0.9
d Female ? E. B. Japan. 8.1 4.3 3.3 0.85 0.9
e ? Acad. Cantab. Japan. 7.35 0 3.2 0.92 0.9
f Male ? H. Seebohm. Fujisan, Japan. 8.65 4.2 3.25 0.9 0.95
g Male ? H. Seebohm. Fujisan, Japan. 8.3 4.25 3.3 0.9 0.9
The figures are taken from a male, b, in my own collection, and that of the female from Mr. J. Gould’s “Birds of Asia.”