Ithagenes cruentus (Hardw.), Trans. Linn. Soc. xiii. p. 237 (1822) ; Gould, B. of As. vii. pl. 43 ; Elliot, Monogr. Phas. ii. pl. 30 ; Ogilvie Grant, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxii. p. 208 : Blanf. F. Brit. Ind. Birds, iv. p. 103 ; David and Oust. Ois. Chine, p. 558.
Chilime, Nepal. ; Semo, Bhot. ; Sumong, Lepch.
Male ad. (Sikhim). Forehead and space round the eye to ear-coverts black ; crest white and grey, tinged with warm buff on the crown ; upper parts slate-grey, the mantle with buffy white shaft-stripes ; rest of the upper parts similar, but the stripes edged with black and the scapulars and wing-coverts washed with green ; quills brown ; tail brown at base, fringed with crimson, and whitish at tip ; chin and upper throat crimson ; rest of fore neck greenish white, margined with black ; under parts to lower abdomen pale green, margined with darker green ; lower abdomen like the back ; under tail-coverts scarlet, tipped with white ; bill black ; cere, gape, orbital skin, and legs red ; iris brown. Culmen 0.9, wing 8.5, tail 7.0 ; tarsus 2.9 inch. The female is brown, finely vermiculated with black, the head, neck, and upper throat paler and yellower, the under parts paler and more rufescent.
Hab. The higher ranges of the Himalayas in Nepal, Sikhim, and Bhutan, east to China ; Tibet.
Inhabits the pine-forests at from 10,000 to 14,000 feet elevation, and is said to feed on the tender shoots of the pine and juniper, and on the berries of the latter, leaves, seeds, small fruits, &c. It has a peculiar long call, resembling the squeal of a Kite, and a shorter monosyllabic call-note. It is by no means shy, but very averse to take wing. In the autumn it is found in small flocks or family parties. Nothing appears to be known respecting its nidification.
943. Ithagenes cruentus