880. Pyrrhulauda melanauchen.
The Black-crowned Finch-Lark.
Coraphites melanauchen, Cabanis, Mus. Hein. i, p. 124 (1850). Pyrrhulauda affinis, Blyth, Ibis, 1867, p. 185 ; Hume, S. F. i, p. 212. Pyrrhulauda melanauchen (Cab.), Hume, S. F. vii, p. 64; id. Cat. no. 750 bis; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 277 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xiii, p. 655 ; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 248.
Coloration. Male, Resembles male of P. grisea, but differs in having the forehead broadly white, the whole crown dark chocolate-brown or blackish, and the white of the ear-coverts produced narrowly round the hind neck to form a collar ; the black sides of the neck are also produced as a collar over the mantle, immediately behind the white collar.
Female. Resembles the female of P. grisea, but is much paler and more sandy; the lower plumage is less rufous and almost pure white on the abdomen, and the streaks are fewer in number.
Bill pale whity brown, bluish on lower mandible; legs and feet pale whity brown; iris brown (Hume).
Length about 5.5 ; tail 2.2 ; wing 3.3 ; tarsus .65 ; bill from gape .5.
Distribution. A permanent resident in Sind and the western half of Rajputana. This species has also been obtained at Muttra, just within the limits of the Punjab. It extends westwards to Arabia and North-eastern Africa.
Habits, &c. Breeds apparently throughout the year in Sind, having three broods. The nest and eggs appear to be very similar to those of P. grisea, and the eggs measure about .75 by .54.