838. Motacilla citreoloides.
Hodgson's Yellow-headed Wagtail.
Budytes citreoloides, Hodgs., Gould, Birds As. iv, pl. 64 (1865); Hume & Henders. Lah. to Yark. p. 224. Budytes citreola (Pall.), Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 352 (pt.) ; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 225. Budytes calcaratus (Hodgs.), Brooks, J. A. S. B. xii, pt. ii, p. 82; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xii, pt. ii, p, 244; Hume, N. & E. p. 382 ; Anders. Yunnan Exped., Aves, p. 609 ; Hume, Cat. no. 594 ; Biddulph, Ibis, 1881, p. 69 ; Scully, Ibis, 1881, p. 452; Oates, B. B. i, p. 163 ; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 240. Motacilla citreoloides (Hodgs.), Sharpe, Cat. B. M. x, p. 507; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 208.
The Yellow-headed Wagtail, Jerd.; Pani-ka-pilkya, Hind.
Coloration. Resembles M. citreola, but in summer has the entire back, scapulars, rump, and upper tail-coverts deep black. In the winter months the two species are very close to each other, but M. citreoloides has generally a few black or dusky feathers on the upper plumage, by which it may be infallibly recognized. It is pretty certain that the two sexes of this species are alike in plumage, but reliably sexed females are very scarce in collections.
The young do not appear to differ in any respect from those of M. citreola.
The dimensions and colours of the soft parts are the same as in M. citreola.
This species and the preceding cannot always be separated from each other, but they can always, even in their youngest stage, be separated from the other yellow "Wagtails by the greater length of the tarsus.
Both this species and M. citreola occur in Nepal and Hodgson procured a large series of the two. It is not clear to me to which species he assigned the names of calcaratus and citreoloides, but Gould identified the latter name with the present species and figured the bird. It is therefore convenient to discard calcaratus altogether as being unnecessary and adopt citreoloides of Hodgson, apud ' Gould, Birds of Asia.'
Distribution. A winter visitor to the southern slopes of the Himalayas from Kashmir to Assam, extending on the west to Afghanistan. This species also visits the plains of India, and I have examined specimens procured at Sambhar, Etawah, and Calcutta, but from no point further south. Stoliczka, however, records it from Cutch, and Dr. Fairbank from Khandala. On the east its range extends from Assam down to Northern Tenasserim and Pegu. A few birds of this species apparently breed in Kashmir, but the majority retire to Central Asia.
Habits, &c. Little is known of the nidification of this Wagtail. Theobald found the nest in Kashmir in May, in a depression in soft earth beneath a rock, with four eggs, which were pale grey marked with greyish brown and greyish neutral tint, and measured about .95 by .7.