Fringilla montifringilla, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 318 (1766) ; Naum, v p. 44, Taf. 119 ; Hewitson, i. p. 194, pl. xlix. figs. 2, 3 ; Gould, B. of E. iii. pl. 188 ; id. B. of Gt. Brit. iii. pl. 35 ; Newton, ii. p. 75 ; Dresser, iv. p. 15, pl. 181 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xii. p. 178 ; Saunders, p. 185 ; Lilford, iv. p. 37, pl. 20.
Pinson d’Ardennes, French ; Tentilhao montez, Portug. ; Pinson montanes, Span. ; Peppola, Ital ; Bergfink, German ; Bergvink, Dutch ; Noiske Bogfinke, Kvoeker, Dan. ; Bjergfinke, Norw. ; Bergfink, Norrqvint, Swed. ; Harkapeippo, Finn. ; Vyourok, Russ. ; Vintan, Lapp.
Female ad. (Sweden). Upper parts glossy blue black. the white bases of the feathers showing occasionally, especially on the nape, lower back, and rump white, slightly varied with black ; quills blackish brown, margined with dull white ; least wing-coverts orange, median and larger coverts tipped with white, the innermost of the latter marked with orange ; a yellowish white spot at the base of the quills ; tail blackish brown, with a little white at the base of the outermost feathers ; upper tail-coverts ashy- grey, marked with black ; sides of the head glossy blue-black ; throat and upper breast pale orange ; under parts white, the flanks spotted with black, the under tail-coverts tinged with buff ; bill horn-blue ; feet reddish brown ; iris dark brown. Culmen 0.5, wing 3.5, tail 2.4, tarsus 0.7 inch. The female differs in being much more obscurely coloured, and in lacking the black on the head and back, these parts being greyish brown. In the autumn and winter the black in the male is obscured by broad, sandy-buff margins to the feathers, and the margins to the wing and tail-feathers are broader, tinged with orange brown ; bill yellow, black at the tip ; legs pale brown.
Hab. Northern Europe and Asia from Scandinavia to the Pacific coast, wintering in central Europe, Great Britain, Asia Minor, Northern India, China, and Japan ; rarely during severe winters in North Africa.
In general habits it much resembles the Chaffinch but its note is different, being a harsh cree, cree not unlike that of the Greenfinch but louder. In the autumn they collect in large flocks and migrate south, and are then to be met with in England and Scotland, but it is only met with occasionally in Ireland. It feeds during the summer to a large extent on insects, on which its young are also reared, but in the autumn and winter it feeds on berries, seeds of various plants, beech nuts, &c. It breeds in Scandinavia from northern Lapland down to central Sweden, and the fells in the birch zone ; and in Northern Siberia and Kamchatka. The nest, which is usually placed on a birch tree from 10 or 12 to 25 feet from the ground is a neat structure, resembling that of F. coelebs but larger, and is built of moss, grass, straws, fine rootlets, and lichens, and almost always sheds of the fine paper-like bark of the birch are interwoven on the outside ; the lining is usually composed of wool, plant-down, and feathers, and I once took a nest built almost entirely of marsh cotton. The eggs from 4 to 6, less often 7 in number, are usually deposited in May, and resemble those of the Chaffinch, but have generally a greener tinge, and in size average about 0.75 by 0.57 inch.
457. Fringilla wontifringilla