1094. Gymnoris xanthocoUis xanthocoUis

(1094) Gymnoris xanthocollis xanthocollis (Burton).
THE INDIAN YELLOW-THROATED SPARROW.
Gymnoris xanthocollis xanthocollis, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed, vol. iii, p. 166.
This Yellow-throated Sparrow is found over the whole of India except in Sind and the North-West Province, where its place is taken by the next race. East it extends into Western Bengal, occurring as far East as Rajmehal, while a bird shot by Sir S. M. Robinson in the Shan States at Kalaw has also been identified as of this species. It occurs in Ceylon and is found throughout the foot-hills of the Himalayas as far East as Bihar and up to an elevation of some 4,000 feet.
It is a resident bird and breeds wherever found except in the Eastern Punjab, to which Whistler says it is a Summer visitor only, breeding from March to September. Hume says that it does not breed in the extreme South of India, but Bourdillon obtained its nests and eggs in Quilon, and records it as a common breeding bird.
It is almost as familiar a little bird as the Common House-Sparrow and, though normally it makes its nests in holes of trees, it often makes use of holes in walls, hollow bamboos in roofs and eaves, and sometimes, as Betham records, it builds its nest in the lamp¬posts in the streets, selecting the hollows under the lights.
When placed in holes in trees they may be built at any height. Hume says :—“Old Mango-trees are often chosen, and in these the nests may be found 30 feet from the ground, though usually they are at heights of 12 to 20 feet ; sometimes some old stub is patronized, and then the nest may not be a couple of feet from the ground. On one occasion I found a nest in a hole in a stem of an old heens bush (Capparia aphylla), which stem was barely 5 inches in diameter.”
Jesse found a nest built yearly in an empty jar lying on its side on a roof in Lahore City, where he took many nests. Nests may often be found close to one another, and Bingham “found more than a dozen nests in one immense peepul-tree.” Jerdon says. “it breeds in trees, and in some parts of the country in roofs of houses, in the hollow bamboos of the roof, and occasion ally in pots hung out for this purpose.” The nest, in whatever kind of hole it may be placed, is always the same, a small mass of rubbish, in which grass forms a large or major portion, with a dense lining of feathers, large and small. Sometimes grass forms practically the whole of the nest, while at other times this is mixed with roots, leaves, rags, bits of string, snake-skins or any other oddments which may lie about in the vicinity of the nesting site. Usually the nest externally is shapeless, but Hume records that “sometimes a more or less cup-shaped nest is formed, fine strips of bark and tow being added to the grass ; and, again, at times it is a regular pad of hair, tow, and wool, with a few feathers, all closely interwoven, and with only a little central hollow.”
Over the whole of its range April seems to be the principal breeding month, a good many birds also laying in May, more especially in the early part of that month. In Lahore Dodsworth found them breeding in May and June, and Bingham says that in Delhi they also breed in the latter month, while in Allahabad they commence to lay in March. All my other correspondents from South, North, East and West give April as the month in which most eggs are laid.
The full clutch consists of three or four eggs only, but Davidson found that in the Satpuras two eggs farmed the normal clutch.
The eggs are quite typical Sparrows’ eggs ; the ground is white, generally tinted with brown or yellowish-brown, less often with pale greenish. Most eggs have this almost obliterated with smudges, smears, streaks and blotches, varying in colour from grey-brown or tan-brown to deep 300ty black. I have clutches which look as if they had been dipped in soot, hardly a glimpse of any ground being visible. At the other extreme I have a clutch with a pale greenish ground boldly and thickly blotched with black at the larger end and less thickly elsewhere.
The texture is normally dull and glossless, but I have one clutch taken by Whistler in which two eggs are very glossy and two slightly so. In shape they are broad, short ovals, seldom much compressed at the smaller end.
One hundred eggs average 19.0 x 13.9 mm. : maxima 21.1 x 14.2 and 20.0 x 15.0 mm. ; minima 16.0 x 12.9 mm.
According to Gill (Journ. Bomb. Nat. Hist. Soc. vol. xxix, p. 763, 1923) both birds take part in the construction of the nest, but the female alone seems to carry on incubation, the male sitting in close attendance and constantly uttering a monotonous chirrup which calls attention to the nest.

BookTitle: 
The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Reference: 
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 3. 1934.
Title in Book: 
1094. Gymnoris xanthocoUis xanthocoUis
Spp Author: 
Burton.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
1094
Year: 
1934
Page No: 
71
Common name: 
Indian Yellow Throated Sparrow
M_ID: 
29447
M_SN: 
Gymnoris xanthocollis xanthocollis
Volume: 
Vol. 3
id: 
14189

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