42. Machlolophus xanthogenys.
The Yellow-cheeked Tit.
Parus xanthogenys, Vigors, P. Z. S. 1831, p. 23; Gould, Cent. pi. 20, fig. 1; Blyth, Cat. p. 103 (part.) ; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 371; Gadow, Cat. B. M. viii, p. 24. Machlolophus xanthogenys (Vig.), Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 279; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xxxvii, pt. ii, p. 52 ; Blanf. J. A. S. B xli, pt. ii, p. 107 ; Hume, N. & E. p. 407 ; Brooks, S. F. iii, p. 253; Hume, S. F. iii, p. 492 ; Hume, Cat. no. 647; ? Swinhoe Barnes, Ibis, 1885, p. 127; ? Barnes, Journ. Bom. N. II. Soc. i, p. 62; ? Littledale, Journ. Bom. N. H. Soc. i, p. 199: ?Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 249 ; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 38.
Coloration. Lores, forehead, crown, crest, sides of the nape, a bar on the side of the neck, a broad streak behind the eye, chin, throat, centre of the breast, and a broad band down the middle of the abdomen black, the longer feathers of the crest tipped yellow; a distinct supercilium over the eye and ear-coverts, a nape-patch, the cheeks, ear-coverts, sides of the breast and of the upper abdomen bright yellow ; remainder of the lower surface olive-yellow ; under tail-coverts white; back and rump olive-green ; upper tail-coverts slaty ; scapulars and lesser wing-coverts black, broadly edged with olive-green; the other coverts black tipped with yellow; primary-coverts dark brown; primaries white at base, and the outer ones edged with white below the emarginations; secondaries edged with bluish and tipped with white ; tertiaries broadly tipped with white; tail dark brown, suffused with ashy blue on the outer webs, all the feathers tipped white, and the outer web of the outermost pair entirely white.
Bill black; legs, feet, and claws lavender-blue ; iris very dark brown (Davison).
Length about 5.5 ; tail 2.3 ; wing 2.8; tarsus .7; bill from gape .55.
Distribution. Throughout the Himalayas from Murree to Eastern Nepal at elevations of from 4000 to 7000 ft. This Tit is stated to occur also at various localities in the plains ; at Dungarpur in Meywar and Jhalod in the Panch Mahals by Littledale ; at Neemuch by Barnes; and at Mhow in Central India by Swinhoe and Barnes. There is no doubt, however, that some mistake has been made about its occurrence in these places, M. haplonotus having been confounded with it. A specimen procured by Swinhoe at Mhow and now in the British Museum, labelled M. xanthogenys, is unmistakably M. haplonotus with pure white tips to the wing-coverts.
Habits, &c. Breeds in April and May, constructing a pad-like nest of hair and fur in holes in trees and walls. It lays either four or five eggs, which are white or reddish white, speckled and spotted with brick-dust red. They measure .74 by .54.*