34. Parus monticola.
The Green-backed Tit.
Parus monticolus, Vig. P. Z. S. 1831, p. 22 ; Gould, Cent. pi. 29, fig. 2; Blyth, Cat. p. 103 ; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 369; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 277; Hume & Henders:Lah.to Yark. p. 229; Hume, N. & F. p. 404; id. Cat. no. 644; Scully, S. F. viii, p. 323; Gadow, Cat. B. M. viii, p. 20; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 254 ; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 35.
Coloration. Cheeks and ear-coverts white; the whole head, nape, breast, and a broad band down the middle of the abdomen black; a whitish patch on the nape ; back and scapulars greenish yellow; rump slaty; upper tail-coverts black ; tail black, the outer webs suffused with blue, all the feathers tipped with white, the outer web of the outermost pair of feathers entirely white ; lesser wing-coverts black, edged with slaty; the other coverts and the winglet black, edged with blue and tipped with white, forming two wing-bars ; the earlier primaries edged with white at base and below the emarginations ; the others, with the secondaries, edged with blue and tipped with white; tertiaries black, edged and tipped with white ; abdomen, sides of breast, and axillaries deep yellow ; under tail-coverts black tipped with white. The young are very similar to the adult.
Bill black'; iris brown; legs dark plumbeous; claws dusky (Scully).
Length about 5; tail 2.3 ; wing 2.7; tarsus .7; bill from gape .5. This Tit is of the same type of plumage as P. major of Europe and Northern Asia, but is more brightly coloured, has two wing-bars and more white on the tertiaries.
Distribution. Throughout the Himalayas from Kashmir to Bhutan. P. monticola also occurs in the Khasi and Naga Hills, and Hume obtained it at Matchi on the Eastern Hills of Manipur. It appears to be found chiefly from 4000 to 8000 feet of elevation.
Habits, &c. This species breeds from March to June, constructing a loose nest of moss and feathers in a hole of a tree, wall, or bank. It lays five to eight eggs, which are very similar to those of P. atriceps in colour, and measure .72 by .52.