1042. Mycerobas melanoxanthos

(1042) Mycerobas melanoxanthos (Hodgs.).
Mycerobas melanoxanthus, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. iii, p. 105.
This grand Grosbeak breeds all through the Himalayas from Afghanistan to Setchuan, though it appears to be common nowhere.
I saw it in Summer in the hills South of the Brahmapootra, both in the Cachar and Khasia Hills, but failed to find its nest, and they may have been non-breeding birds.
Captain R. A. Skinner took a nest on the 22nd June, 1908, which he describes as follows (Journ. Bomb. Nat. Hist. Soe. vol. xviii, p. 907, 1909):—“The nest was in a Yew-tree about 15 feet from the ground, on side of a steep hill, built on a branch towards the end, composed of a base or platform of twigs from the Silver Fir (Abies webbiani), on the top of which was a cup-shaped nest of moss lined with maidenhair stems and fine roots ; diameter of nest 3.1/2", depth 1.3/4", internal measurements. The outside of the nest was lined with some green stuff which remained green and did not dry up, which aided its concealment. I sent the man I employed up the tree and the bird remained sitting till he came right up to the nest. We waited for ten minutes or a quarter of an hour, when the male bird turned up and, having a good look at him, flew away ; the female came soon afterwards and I shot her close to the nest. There was a full clutch of three eggs, which were marked, in the same way as those of the Black-and-Yellow Grosbeak, with streaks and blotches, only the markings are decidedly more reddish-brown ; the ground-colour is light green. The eggs were fresh. Size 1.08 x 8" (=27.4 x 20.2 mm.), 1.07 x .84" (=26.2 x 21.3 mm.) and 1.07 x .8" (=26.2 x 20.2 mm.).”
The nest was in a nullah in Fir-forest, at an elevation of 8,000 feet, in Danga Gali, near Murree.
Coltart had a nest with two eggs and a female of this species brought in to him on the 8th May, which had been taken three or four days previously by Nagas of the Patkoi Range at about 6,000-8,000 feet. As I was present at the time all were handed over to me. The nest was a bulky cup, well and neatly made and very compact, composed of grass, moss, small twigs and roots and lined with fine roots. It was, in fact, just like the nests of Perissospiza but rather larger and more bulky. It had been taken high up in a Pine-tree, some of the needles of which still adhered to the nest. It contained two eggs, measuring 30.1 x 20.3 and 29.0 x 20.9 mm.
In colour the eggs are a very pale grey-green, very feebly marked at the larger end with a ring of pale grey-brown and reddish freckles ; inside the ring are a few more of the same markings, but elsewhere the eggs are immaculate. They will assuredly prove to be abnormally weakly-marked specimens.

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: 
1042. Mycerobas melanoxanthos
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Spotted Winged Grosbeak
Spot-winged Grosbeak
Mycerobas melanozanthos
Vol. 3

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