(1030) Uroloncha malabarica.
The white-Throated Munia.
Loxia malabarica Linn., Syst. Nat., 12th ed. i, p. 305 (1766) (India, Malabar). Uroloncha malabarica. Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 188.
Vernacular names. Charchara (N.W. Provinces); Pidar (South and Central India); Sar munia (Beng.); Jinuwayi (Tel.).
Description. Upper plumage, wing-coverts and inner secondaries earthy-brown, the feathers of the crown with darker centres ; lower rump and upper tail-coverts white, the outer tail-coverts edged black; tail black, edged, except near the tip, with bright rusty ; greater coverts, wings and primaries blackish ; lower plumage pale buffy-white, the sides of the breast and flanks barred with darker buff, in some specimens these parts being practically all buff ; ear-coverts almost or quite pure white.
Colours of soft parts. Iris hazel to dark brown; upper mandible horny-slate to bluish-slate, lower mandible pale bluish or lavender ; legs and feet dark fleshy to reddish purple.
Measurements. Total length about 120 mm.; wing 53 to 54 mm,; tail 48 to 49 mm.; tarsus 14 to 15 mm.; culmen 10 to 11 mm.
Distribution. All India and the dry, maritime parts of Ceylon. It ascends the Himalayas up to 6,000 feet below Simla; to the East it extends to Eastern Bengal but apparently not to Assam or the Bengal Districts North and East of the Bay of Bengal. On the West it is found in Baluchistan and Afghanistan and has been obtained at Muscat in Persia. The Sind, Baluchistan and Afghan birds are possibly rather paler than Southern and Eastern specimens but are not, I consider, sufficiently so to merit separation.
Nidification. In Ceylon the White-throated Munia breeds in the drier areas in the North, whilst in India also it selects the less-watered and well-wooded areas up to some 6,000 feet elevation. It breeds practically throughout the year except at its highest elevation, where the breeding months are restricted from June or July to September. The nest is the usual untidy ball of grass, but is very bulky, with thick walls and often a substantial base - a foundation of dead and green leaves. It breeds in gardens, verandahs, round about villages and, less often, in scrub jungle and long grass and often several nests may be found together. Occasionally a cup-or saucer-shaped nest is built, but this is quite the exception. The eggs number four to eight but sometimes two hens lay in one nest and fifteen eggs have been thus found. One hundred eggs average 15.7 x 11.7 mm.: maxima 18.5 x 11.5 and 16.5 x 12.5 mm.; minima 13.5 x 12.2 and 14.8 x 11.2 mm.
Habits. Those of the genus. This Munia is probably locally migratory in the higher hills but is certainly resident up to 3,000 feet or even higher.