769. Acanthis fringillirostris.
The Eastern Linnet.
Linota fringillirostris, Bonap. & Schleg. Monog. Lox. p. 45, pl. 49 (1850). Linaria cannabina (Linn), Hume, S. F. vii, p. 122 ; Butler, S. F. vii, p. 184; Hume, Cat. no. 751 ter; Biddulph, Ibis, 1881, p. 86; Scully, Ibis, 1881, p. 579 ; Biddulph, Ibis, 1882, p. 285. Acanthis fringillirostris (Bp. & Schleg.), Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xii, p. 244.
Coloration. Male. After the autumn moult the forehead, crown, nape, and hind neck are ashy brown, with dark brow7n streaks, the centres of the feathers of the forehead and front part of crown being red, but entirely concealed ; back, rump, scapulars, and wing-coverts dark brown, with broad chestnut-brown margins to all the feathers; upper tail-coverts black, margined with white; tail-feathers black, the inner webs broadly, the outer more narrowly, margined with pure white ; primaries black, margined and tipped with white ; secondaries dark brown, edged with reddish brown, which colour occupies nearly the whole of the tertiaries ; a broad band above and below, the eye fulvous; sides of the head pale brown; chin and throat fulvous, the middle portions streaked with dark brown; breast dull red, the feathers with very broad fulvous margins which nearly conceal the red ; sides of the breast and of the body fulvous, streaked with brown ; abdomen and under tail-coverts whitish suffused with fulvous.
In spring and summer the margins of the feathers of the forehead and front part of crown are worn down and the red centres become very evident, causing those parts to have a general red appearance; the hinder crown, nape, and hind neck become more uniformly brown; the breast becomes a deep rosy pink, with very narrow whitish margins; a tinge of red is frequently observable on the rump.
Female. Resembles the male, but has no red whatever on the forehead, front part of crown, or breast, these parts being streaked with brown like the other parts of the plumage.
The young bird appears to resemble the adult female closely.
The colours of the bill &c. of this race have not been recorded; in the Common Linnet the bill is horn-colour, the under mandible brown at base, legs pale reddish brown, iris brown.
Length 5.5 to 6 ; tail 2.4 ; wing 3.2 ; tarsus .65 ; bill from gape .45.
This race of Linnet differs from A. cannabina in being larger, and, as regards the males, in the colour of the forehead and breast in the full worn plumage of summer. In A. cannabina these parts are a deep carmine-red ; in A. fringillirostris a bright pomegranate-red. Other differences alleged to exist between the two birds as regards the amount of white on the wing and tail are, I find, of no service in distinguishing them.
Distribution. Occurs in Gilgit from November to February at an elevation of 5000 feet. In the Hume Collection there is a specimen said to have been procured at Daulatpur in Sind in November, and Butler is under the impression that he observed a Linnet, probably of this species, at Karachi. This Linnet extends westwards to Asia Minor and it is found in Central Asia.