879. Pyrrhulauda grisea.
The Ashy-crowned Finch-Lark.
Alauda grisea, Scop. Del. Flor. et Faun. Insubr. ii, p. 95 (1786). Pyrrhulauda grisea (Scop.), Blyth, Cat. p. 134 ; Horsf. & M. Cat. ii, p. 479; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 424; Hume, N. & E. p. 479; Ball, S. F. vii, p. 223; id.Cat. no. 760 ; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 637 ; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 277; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xiii, p. 652 ; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 243.
The Black-bellied Finch-Lark, Jerd.; Diyora, Duri, Dabhak churi, Jothauli, Hind.; Chat-bharai, Dhula chata, Beng.; Poti-pichike, Piyada pichike, Tel.
Coloration. Male. Upper plumage ashy brown, each feather margined with pale grey and the forehead and crown more broadly margined than the other parts ; middle tail-feathers light brown, the others dark brown, the outermost feather with the outer web and the terminal half of inner whitish; wings dark brown margined with pale grey; lores, front part of cheeks, a supercilium, chin, throat, sides of neck, breast, abdomen, and under tail-coverts dark chocolate-brown; posterior part of cheeks, ear-coverts, and sides of the breast white ; sides of body mixed ashy and blackish ; under wing-coverts and axillaries chocolate-brown.
Female. Darker brown above, with narrower and darker grey margins and with a tinge of rufous throughout; tail as in the male ; wings of much the same colour as the upper plumage; lores, a supercilium, and round the eye rufous; ear-coverts mixed rufous and brown ; lower plumage pale rufous, with obscure, ill-defined brown striations chiefly on the breast.
The young bird resembles the female, but has the margins of the feathers of the upper plumage very distinct and broad and of a pale rufous colour.
Iris dark brown ; legs and feet brownish flesh ; bill bluish flesh, horny brown on the culmen (Butler).
Length about 5.5; tail 1.8; wing 3; tarsus .55; bill from gape .5.
Distribution. The plains of India from Sind to the longitude of Calcutta and from the foot of the Himalayas to Cape Comorin, extending to Ceylon. This species is not recorded from the northern and western portions of the Punjab, but with this exception is found throughout the above area in suitable localities. It is everywhere a permanent resident.
Habits, &c. Breeds from January to August, having two broods in the year. The nest is a small pad of grass, fibres, and feathers placed on the ground. The eggs, two in number, are speckled with brown and grey and measure about .73 by .55.