788. Fringillauda brandti.
Leucosticte brandti, Bonap. Consp. Av. i, p. 537 (1850) ; Biddulph, Ibis, 1881, p. 88. Montifringilla haematopygia, Gould, P. Z. S. 1851, p. 115; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xxxvii, pt. ii, p. 62 ; Hume & Henders. Lah. to Yark. p. 261; Scully, S. F. iv, p. 171. Leucosticte haematopygia (Gould), Blanf. J. A. S. B. xii, pt. ii, p. 66; Hume, Cat. no. 752 bis. Montifringilla brandti (Bonap.), Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xii, p. 269.
Coloration. After the autumn moult the forehead, anterior part of crown, and lores are black, margined with sandy brown; the remainder of the crown, nape, hind neck, and sides of neck brown, margined with sandy brown; back and scapulars ashy brown with fulvous fringes and dark shafts; rump ashy, each feather delicately tipped with rosy red, the shafts dark; upper tail-coverts ashy, broadly tipped and margined with white, and the shafts dark; wing-coverts pale ashy with darker shafts, the lesser and median coverts fringed with rosy red, the greater coverts with pale fulvous white; winglet, primary-coverts, primaries, and secondaries black edged with white; tertiaries ashy brown; tail black edged with white; sides of the head, chin, throat, and breast ashy, the feathers edged with pale fulvous; remainder of lower plumage pale ashy with darker shaft-streaks ; under wing-coverts and axillaries pale ashy white. The sexes appear to be alike.
As the winter progresses, the margins of all the feathers get worn away, and the whole head and mantle become dark blackish brown; the other parts are also much darker, and while the red on the rump becomes more intense in colour, the red on the wing-coverts disappears by abrasion ; the wings and tail become nearly uniform brown.
The young bird has very broad fulvous margins to the feathers of the head, and the margins everywhere more fulvous; there is no red on the wing-coverts, but the rump-feathers are rather broadly margined with red or reddish yellow from the earliest period.
Bill, legs, and feet black ; iris brown (Hume).
Length about 7.5 ; tail 3.1 ; wing 4.8; tarsus .85 ; bill from gape .55.
Distribution. The Himalayas from Gilgit to Sikhim, extending into Turkestan and Tibet. This species is found at high elevations from 12,000 to 19,000 feet, but descends occasionally in winter to the level of Gilgit.