(75) Machlolophus xanthogenys xanthogenys.
THE NORTHERN YELLOW-CHEEKED TIT.
Parus xanthogenys Vigors, P. Z. S., i, p. 23 (1831) (Himalayas). Machlolophus xanthogenys. Blanf. & Oates, i. p. 55.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. 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 with 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 yellow ; primary coverts dark brown; primaries white at base, and the outer ones edged with white below the emarginations ; outer secondaries edged with bluish and tipped with white, the inner secondaries with still broader white tips ; tail dark brown suffused with ashy-blue on the outer webs, all the feathers tipped with white and the outer web of the outermost pair entirely white.
Colours of soft parts. Iris deep brown; bill black; legs and feet clear light slaty blue or lavender-blue.
Measurements. Length about 130 mm.; wing 69 to 73 mm.; tail about 58 mm.; tarsus about 20 mm.; culmen about 10 mm.
The young differ from the adult in having the black mostly replaced with greenish brown and the crown the same colour as the back.
Distribution. Murree to Nepal and Sikkim. The many birds recorded as xanthogenys from various places south of the Himalayas are all the next bird as far as can be now ascertained.
Nidification. Similar to that of M. s. spilonotus. The average of thirty eggs is 17.7x 13.1 mm.
Habits. This Tit is found between 4,000 and 7,000 feet in summer and does not seem to work much lower in winter. In its habits generally it diners little from the Black-spotted Yellow-Tits. Its call, flight and feeding-habits are all described as similar.