835. Motacilla beema.
The Indian Blue-headed Wagtail.
Motacilla beema, Sykes, P. Z. S. 1832, p. 90; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. x, p. 521, pl. vi, fig 6. Budytes dubius vel anthoides, Sodas, in Gray's Zool. Misc. p. 83 (1844). Budytes flava (Linn), Brooks, J. A. S. B. xliii, pt. ii, p. 248; Hume, Cat. no. 593 ter (pt.); Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 239. Budytes dubius, Hodgs., Brooks, S. F. vii, p. 139 (1878).
Coloration. Resembles M. flava at all seasons and in both sexes, but may be distinguished from that species by the colour of the cheeks, and of the lower half of the ear-coverts, which are white and not dark slaty blue or black, and further by the extreme paleness and purity of the bluish grey of the forehead, crown, and nape.
The dimensions and colour of the soft parts in this species are the same as those of M. flava.
Distribution. A winter visitor to the plains of India as far south as Belgaum, ranging from Sind to the longitude of Calcutta. I have examined specimens of this Wagtail from Calcutta itself, but from no point further east. This species is found on the lower ranges of the Himalayas in winter and it extends at that season to Afghanistan. It passes through Kashmir on migration and summers in Central Asia and Southern Siberia, but does not apparently extend so far north at this season as to meet with M. flava.