741. Pycnorhamphus icteroides.
The Black and Yellow Grosbeak.
Coccothraustes icterioides, Vigors, P. Z. S. 1830, p. 8; Gould, Cent. pl. 45; Blyth, Cat. p. 125. Hesperiphona icterioides (Vig.), Horsf. & M. Cat. ii, p. 462; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 384; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xxxvii, pt. ii, p. 59; Hume & Henders. Bah. to Yark. p. 257 ; Cock & Marsh. S. F. i, p. 358 ; Brooks, J. A. S. B. xli, pt. ii, p. 84 ; Wardlaw Ramsay, Ibis, 1880, p. 66 ; C. H. T. Marshall, Ibis, 1884, p. 420. Pycnorhamphus icteroides (Vig.), Hume, N. & E. p. 469; id. Cat. no. 725; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xii, p. 44; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 150.
Coloration. Male. The whole head, chin and throat, wings, scapulars, sides of the back, upper tail-coverts, under wing-coverts, axillaries, and thighs dull black; remainder of plumage deep yellow, tinged with orange on the hind neck.
Female. Head, neck, chin, throat, breast, axillaries and under wing-coverts, back, scapulars, lesser and median wing-coverts, and the greater part of the outer webs of the greater coverts and secondaries ashy grey, the head darker than the other parts; rump fulvous ; upper tail-coverts grey; winglet, primary-coverts, and primaries black ; abdomen, sides of the body, and under tail-coverts fawn-buff.
A young male shot in August is moulting from the female to the adult male plumage.
Legs and feet fleshy pink; bill horny greenish; iris reddish brown (Hume). The bill becomes yellow in winter. A young bird had the bill waxy green; iris hazel; legs and feet pale fleshy (Bingham, August).
Length about 9; tail 3.7; wing 5.2; tarsus 1; bill from gape 1.
Distribution. The Himalayas from Murree and Central Kashmir eastwards to Garhwal, where this species is found in the hills north of Mussooree. Jerdon's statement that this bird extends into Nepal requires confirmation. This Grosbeak occurs from 5000 to 9000 feet, and according to Stoliczka not beyond the limit of the large forests.
Habits, &c. Breeds in May and June, constructing a nest of twigs and grass, lined with fern-roots, in a branch of a tree, and laying two or three eggs, which are white marked with broad longitudinal dashes of rufous-brown at the larger end, and measure from .9 to 1.07 in length by .77 to .81 in breadth.