(1031) Uroloncha punctulata punctulata.
The Indian Spotted Munia.
Loxia punctulata Linn., Syst. Nat., 12th ed. i, p. 302 (1766) (Calcutta). Uroloncha punctulata. Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 189.
Vernacular names. Telia munia (Hind, in the N.); Sing-baz, Shinbaz (Hind, in the Deccan and Mussoorie); Shubz munia (Beng.) ; Kakkara jinuwayi (Tel.); We-kurulla (Cing.); Tinna kuravi (Tam.).
Description. Forehead, over the eye, sides of the head, chin and throat rich chocolate ; upper plumage and wings dull chocolate-brown, the back, scapulars and wing-feathers with whitish shafts rump barred with white and blackish; upper tail-coverts and central tail-feathers glistening golden fulvous; outer tail-feathers brown edged with yellow below white, each feather with a bold black edging; centre of abdomen immaculate; under tail-coverts fulvous with more or less blackish centres.
Colours of soft parts. Iris deep reddish brown to almost crimson; bill slaty, the culmen and base blackish ; legs and feet plumbeous, the claws horny-brown.
Measurements. Total length about 125 mm.; wing 52 to 57 mm.; tail 43 to 47 mm.; tarsus 15 to 16 mm.; culmen 11 to 12 mm.
Young birds are a lighter chocolate-brown above, with no barring on the rump and with no glistening colour on the upper tail-coverts or tail; below they vary from dull fulvous-grey to a bright deep buff.
Distribution. Ceylon, all India except Sind, the Punjab, and the drier portions of Rajputana and the N. W. Provinces. East it extends to Eastern Bengal and North-Western Assam. Birds from Pegu also seem nearer to the typical race but the black below is less vivid and the glistening yellow of the upper tail-coverts is often replaced by olive-yellow. These birds are in fact intermediate between the typical form and U. p. subundulata.
Nidification. The Spotted Munia breeds up to some 5,000 or 6,000 feet throughout India in the better-wooded country, where there is a plentiful and regular rainfall. In places where it is particularly common it breeds in communities of some size; thus Miss Cockburn had eight nests in the trellis of her verandah and Layard counted forty in one tree, in one case several being built attached to one another. It breeds more or less throughout the year but more freely after the rains break. One hundred eggs average 16.4 x 11.6 mm.: maxima 18.0 x 12.0 mm.; minima 14.0 x 10.8 and 17.1 x 10.7 mm.
Habits. This familiar little Munia frequents gardens, compounds and villages throughout most of India but is rare in Rajputana and the North-West Provinces. In the higher ranges of its habitat it moves vertically with the seasons but elsewhere is resident.