(1093) Fringilla montifringilla.
Fringilla montifringilla Linn,, Syst. Nat., 10th ed. i, p. 179 (1758). (Sweden); Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 233.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. - Adult male. Sides of head and neck, crown, nape, neck and back black; rump and upper tail-coverts white in the centre, black at the sides; tail black, margined narrowly with white, the white extending on the outermost feathers to the inner web on the basal half; lesser wing-coverts and scapulars bright rufous; visible median wing-coverts white, greater coverts black, tipped with white or pale rufous; quills black, edged with whitish yellow and with a white patch at the base of all but the first three ; inner secondaries edged with rufous; chin, throat and breast orange-rufous; Hanks buffy-rufous or huffy-white, more or less spotted with black; abdomen white; under tail-coverts white tinged with rufous ; axillaries and under wing-coverts pale yellow.
Colours of soft parts. Iris hazel; bill black or horny-black in the breeding-season, horny-yellow with darker tip and culmen in Winter; legs and feet fleshy-brown.
Measurements. Total length about 170 mm.; wing 89 to 94 mm.; tail 63 to 66 mm.; tarsus 18 to 19 mm.; culmen about 12 to 13 mm.
Female. Head, neck and back blackish, each feather with a broad rufous fringe; rump and shorter upper tail-coverts white; longer tail-coverts brown, edged with olive-rufous; tail as in the male; wings brown instead of black, the edges to the primaries more yellow and the innermost secondaries very broadly edged with rufous; sides of the head dull vinous-rufous; chin almost white; underparts as in the male but much paler.
The female is decidedly smaller than the male; wing 83 to 89 mm.
Male in Winter. Has ail the feathers of the upper parts broadly edged with rufous-grey and the edges to the wing-feathers also much broader and more rufous. In this stage the male is much more like the female.
Young birds differ from the female in having the abdomen and rump much more yellowish; the median and greater coverts are dark brown with buff tips.
Nestling in down white.
Distribution. Breeds throughout Northern Europe and Asia from Norway to Kamschatka. In Winter South to the greater part of Southern Europe; Central Asia to North-West India, Tibet and the greater part of North and Central China, East to Japan.
Nidification. Breeds in Northern Europe and North-West Asia from late May to the middle of June, making a nest which is a large, rather untidy edition of that of the Chaffinch. The eggs, five to eight in number, are like those of the Chaffinch but even more varied. "One hundred eggs average 19.5 x 14.6 mm." ( Witherby).
Habits. Frequents both open bush-covered hillsides and the outskirts and thinner parts of birch- and pine-woods. In Winter migrates South in enormous flocks and also extends from the Scandinavian countries West to England and Western Europe. It feeds on seeds and berries and in Autumn very largely on beechnuts.