1111. MontifringUla nivalis adamsi

(1111) Montifringilla nivalis adamsi Adams.
THE TIBET Snow-Finch.
Montifringilla nivalis adamsi, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. iii, p. 187.
This Snow-Finch is found breeding in Kashmir, Ladak and Tibet at elevations over 12,000 feet. It ascends to at least 16,000 feet, as Stoliczka records it at this height at Rupshu, while Wollaston says (Ibis, 1922, p. 518) :—“Generally distributed between 14,000 and 16,000 ft. Nests with young were found in July in old walls and piles of stones,”
Adams says it is “common on the bare and barren mountains of Ladakh and Little Tibet, and feeding on the seeds of the few plants found in these dreary and desolate looking mountains. The nest is composed of grass, and generally placed in the long dykes, built by the Tartars over their dead.”
Ward obtained nest and eggs in 1906 at Kot-la., near Ladak, while Col. F, M. Baily, Kennedy and others have taken other nests in South and Western Tibet, Baily in sending me a clutch of eggs writes :—“Very common at Phari between 14,000 and 14,500 feet, breeding in the burrows of the Mouse-bare. The nest is a very rough affair of grass and of no particular shape, but where was always a hning of fur, this also generally that of the Mouse-hare. They breed from May to July.”
Ludlow and many of my other correspondents found it very common on the Gyantse plain, where also they breed principally in the burrows of the Mouse-hare, They, however, found nests very difficult to locate, and Capt, F. Kennedy, who sent me a clutch of eggs, said he only found it when, stepping almost on the hole, the bird flew out.
Osmaston toot several nests in Ladak and, gives the following interesting account of the nidification (Ibis, 1925, p. 696):—“This Finch is fairly common throughout Ladakh from about 12,500 feet up to the snow-line. They frequent rocky slopes, but are often to be seen feeding on moist ground in the vicinity of streams,
“The song of the cook-bird is poor and very monotonous. They have a curious and characteristic habit of flying very slowly, a sort of hovering flight with the wings raised above the back and with the tail extended, displaying the white of the wings and tail, which is largely concealed when the birds are at rest.
They are very tame and fearless of man. Breeding commences early, about the middle of May. Nests are placed deep in a crevice in the rock or more frequently under a fair-sized rock. Also occasionally in a mane wall. The birds sit close and do not readily leave the nest, which is best located by watching the birds building or returning to the nest after feeding early in the morning.
“The nest is often very difficult to reach, as it is frequently two or three feet from the surface, and a crowbar or other tool may be necessary.
“Nests are composed of a mass of fine yellow grass (the flowering stems), lined copiously with hair (of the yak, marmot etc.) and with feathers.”
Osmaston found nests begun as early as the 19th May and took eggs from the 28tb May to 13th July. I have one clutch from Gyantse which was taken on the 7th July.
The number of eggs laid seems to be normally four, rarely three only.
They are pure white, the texture hard and close, with a fair gloss. In shape they are generally broad ovals rather pointed at the smaller end.
Thirty eggs, including all Osmaston’s, average 23.0 x 16.5 mm. : maxima 25.5 x 16.9 and 24.8 x 17.0 mm, ; minima 21.6 x 16.0 mm.
Osmaston gives the minimum length as 20.7 mm., and the maximum breadth as 17.8 mm.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 3. 1934.
Title in Book: 
1111. MontifringUla nivalis adamsi
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Tibet Snow Finch
Tibetan Snowfinch
Montifringilla adamsi
Vol. 3

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