744. Mycerobas melanoxanthus.
The Spotted-winged Grosbeak.
Coccothraustes melanozanthus, Hodgs. As. Res. xix, p. 150 (1836); Blyth, Cat. p. 125. Mycerobas melanoxanthus (Hodgs), Horsf. & M. Cat. ii, p. 461; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 386 ; Blanf. J. A. S. B. xli, pt. ii, p. 64; Godw. Aust. J. A. S. B. xlv, pt. ii, p. 200; Hume, Cat. no. 727; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xii, p. 41 ; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 286.
Coloration. Male. The whole upper plumage, sides of the head and neck, chin and throat slaty black, each feather with an ashy margin more or less distinct; wings black, the feathers margined with ashy, the inner greater coverts and tertiaries with an elongated oval pale yellow spot on the outer web near the tip ; the fourth to eighth primaries white at base ; the secondaries and inner primaries with a short white margin near the tip of the outer web; tail black; lower plumage deep yellow; axillaries black, tipped with yellow.
Female. Upper plumage black, the feathers edged with yellowish green, those of the head, hind neck, and back subterminally bright yellow, causing those parts to be about equally black and yellow ; feathers of forehead and those at the side of the crown almost pure yellow; a broad black band from the lores through the eye to the ear-coverts, followed below by a yellow band ; a black patch on the cheeks ; sides of the chin and throat, sides of neck, breast, and sides of body deep yellow streaked with black; chin, throat, abdomen, and under tail-coverts deep unstreaked yellow; wings and tail much as in the male, but the feathers margined with greenish yellow.
The nestling resembles the female in general appearance, but has the yellow of the head and upper parts replaced by yellowish white, and the lower plumage pale vinaceous streaked with black and occasionally tinged with yellow. It is difficult to trace the transition of plumage from youth to maturity in the series in the British Museum, but Hodgson asserts that the young males retain the plumage of the female till after the second moult.
Bill leaden blue; feet leaden grey, claws brown; iris brown (Hodgson).
Length about 8.5; tail 3.1; wing 5 ; tarsus .85 ; bill from gape 1.
Distribution. The Himalayas from the Hazara country to Sikhim at considerable elevations ; Manipur.