(1117) Fringilauda brandti brandti.
Leucosticte brandti Bonaparte, Consp. A v., i, p. 357 (1850) (Siberia or Turkestan). Fringillauda brandti. Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 248 (part).
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Lores, forehead, round the eye and anterior crown black, the feathers with sandy-brown edges soon wearing off; hinder crown, neck and upper back dark brown with pale edges ; lower back and scapulars ashy-brown, with dark centres and broad pale grey edges; rump dark brown at the bases of the feathers, with broad rosy edges; upper tail-coverts brown with white tips and edges; tail blackish-brown, edged with fulvous-white ; lesser wing-coverts pale ashy, narrowly edged with rosy; median and greater coverts pale ashy with dark centres; winglet, primary-coverts and quills dark brown, all edged narrowly with white, with broader white margins to the inner primaries and outer secondaries ; chin, throat and breast dark ashy-brown, with darker bases to the feathers and with pale margins ; remainder of lower parts pale ashy with indistinctly darker shafts ; axillaries pale grey or white; under wing-coverts white.
The pale edges to the feathers abrade very quickly, the head becoming darker, the red on the rump more intense and that on the wings disappearing altogether.
Colours of soft parts. Iris brown ; bill, legs and feet black, the first paler in the females and young birds and possibly in the male in non-breeding plumage.
Measurements. Wing 110 to 119 mm.; tail 74 to 78 mm.; tarsus about 20 to 21 mm.; culmen about 10 to 11 mm.
Young "birds have no rosy tint on the rump or wing and no .black on the head; elsewhere they are much paler and more fulvous in general tint than the adult.
Distribution. Tian Schan, Pamirs, Turkestan, Altai South to Yarkand, Kashgar and Gilgit.
Nidification. I can find nothing recorded about the nesting of this bird.
Habits. Brandt's Mountain-Finch has much the same habits as the Snow-Finches but keeps to even higher ele\ations in Summer, whilst in Winter, in the Himalayas, it is not often seen below 12,000 feet. It feeds almost entirely on the ground and is an active bird, swift both on its feet and on the wing. In Winter it collects in very large flocks, sometimes numbering many hundreds. Its note, uttered most frequently as it rises from the ground, is described as a loud " chirp " and it is said to have Also a Sparrow-like chatter.