618. Saxicola picata.
The Pied Chat.
Saxicola picata, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xvi, p. 131 (1847); id. Cat. p. 167; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 287; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 131; Blanf. & Dresser, P. Z. S. 1874, p. 227; Hume, S. F. iii, p. 475; id. Cat. no. 489; Seebohm, Cat. B. M. v, p. 307 ; Barnes, S. F. ix, p. 217; Biddulph, Ibis, 1881, p. 56; Scully, Ibis, 1881, p. 441; Biddulph, Ibis, 1882, p. 236 ; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 202; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 52. Dromolaea picata (Blyth), Hume, S. F. i, p. 184; Ball, S. F. iii, p. 206.
The Pied Stone-Chat, Jerd.
Coloration. Male. The whole head and neck all round, back, scapulars and wings, under wing-coverts and axillaries deep black; remainder of lower plumage with the rump and upper tail-coverts white; tail white, except the terminal half of the middle pair of feathers and a broad band at the tip of the others, which are black. There is hardly any difference between the summer and winter plumages.
Female. Upper plumage brown; rump and upper tail-coverts white; tail as in male, but black replaced by brown; wings brown, all the feathers broadly edged with rufous; chin, throat, and breast dark ochraceous brown; remainder of the lower parts very pale buff or pinkish white.
The young resemble the female but are mottled below, and the crown is always of the same colour as the back.
A few adult males have sometimes a small amount of white ou the crown or over the ear-coverts, and occasionally in birds about to moult nearly the whole crown is white.
Bill and legs black; iris dark brown (Bingham).
Length about 7; tail 2.7; wing 3.5; tarsus 1; bill from gape .75.
Distribution. The Pied Chat summers in Gilgit and the mountains of Afghanistan and Baluchistan, extending at this season to Persia. In winter it visits the plains of the Punjab, Sind, Guzerat, Rajputana as far east as Deesa and Sambhar, and the Northwest Provinces down to Allahabad. At this season it is also found in the low country of Baluchistan and Afghanistan.
Habits, &c. Breeds from March to July, constructing a nest of grass, lined with feathers, in a hole of a wall or a cleft of a rock. The eggs are greenish blue, with very pale marks of rusty brown round the larger end, and measure about .81 by .56.