(1084) Acanthis cannabina fringillirostris.
The Eastern Linnet.
Linota fringillirostris Bp. & Schleg. Monog. Lox. p. 45 (1850) (Kashmir). Acanthis fringillirostris. Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 238.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. - Adult male. Forehead ashy-brown with deep crimson centres to the feathers; remainder of head, nape and neck ashy-brown; back, scapulars, rump and wing-coverts dark brown with broad chestnut margins ; upper tail-coverts black, broadly edged with white; tail black, the outer webs narrowly edged with white, the inner webs nearly all white; primaries black, finely edged with white ; secondaries black, tipped white and broadly edged with fulvous-chestnut, the innermost being nearly all of this colour ; chin and throat white, streaked with dark brown; breast bright rosy-pink or crimson-pink; flanks pale chestnut-fulvous, abdomen and under tail-coverts white.
Colours of soft parts. Iris brown; bill pale horny-brown, yellowish at the base and darker on the culmen and tip ; legs and feet pale fleshy-horny to fleshy-brown.
Measurements. Total length about 140 mm.; wing 81 to 85 ram.; tail 87 to 90 mm.; tarsus about 16 mm.; culmen 10 to 11 mm.
Female similar to the male but with no rose tint and with the breast fulvous-white, broadly streaked with dark brown.
Distribution. Asia Minor and the Caucasus to Turkestan, Persia, Afghanistan and Northern Kashmir.
Nidification. The Eastern Linnet breeds in Central Asia from early May to the end of June, making a nest just like that of the Common Linnet and laying eggs which do not differ from those of that bird. Four eggs measure (Jourdain) 19.5 x 14.1 mm. Eight eggs in my own collection from Persia vary between 17.2 x 13.1 and 19.3 x 14.1 mm.; the two clutches were taken on the 1st and 7th of June.
Habits. The Eastern Linnet is a very doubtful breeder within Indian limits but may do so in Gilgit, where it is reported to be resident from 5,000 feet upwards. Whistler reports it to be a common winter visitor to the submontane tract in the North-West Punjab: Whymper obtained it on the Salt Range and again at Kohat; Currie believed he saw Linnets - which must have been of this race - in Lahore ; there is a specimen from Daotupper, Sind, in the British Museum and Butler thought he saw this species at Karachi. It collects in very large flocks during the winter but keeps, as in Summer, to open country, cultivation, orchards and barren hillsides. It has a sweet little song and is an active, lively little bird with a fairly swift but rather dipping flight.