Fringilla domestica Linn., Syst. Nat., 10th ed, i, p. 183 (1758). Type-locality: Sweden.
Differs from our Indian forms in being rather larger and in not having such pure white ear-coverts and underparts.
The type of Passer indicus is in the Tring Museum, a specimen given by Selby to Jardine. This is a bird of the rather pale Indian race found from Sind and Cutch to the extreme North-West and is not of the smaller deep red type found in South India, Burma, etc. or of the larger deep red breeding birds of the Himalayas. The plate given in Jardine and Selby's 'Illustrations of Ornithology,' on the other hand, depicts an exceptionally deep red bird, evidently drawn and painted from a specimen procured from a district other than that whence the actual type came*.
There are three well-marked races of House-Sparrows found in India: the typical form (not that shown in Jardine & Selby's plate) breeding in the driest portions of the Empire on the "West, North-West, and West Central areas, a second breeding in the Himalayas and Tibet between 5,000 and 17,000 feet, and a third inhabiting South India, East India, Assam, Burma, etc
* Mr. N. B. Kinnear informs me that the bird from which the painting was made was given by Atherton to Selby and is mentioned by him in a letter to the latter. It was taken by him in Bangalore. The original letter is now in the British Museum.
Key to Subspecies.
A. Chestnut paler, black stripes more narrow; white wing-patch not conspicuous…………P. d. indicus, p. 170.
B. Chestnut deeper, black stripes bolder and broader; white wing-patch very conspicuous.
a. Larger; wing 76 to 81 mm…………P. d. parkini, P- 17tf.
b. Smaller; wing c? 69 to 74 mm…………P d. confucius, p. 172.
C. Paler above, generally with a more distinct supercilium…………P. d. indicus, p. 171.
D. Darker above, generally with an in distinct supercilium.
c. Larger; wing- 73 to 76 mm…………P. d. parkini, p. 173.
d. Smaller; wing 65 to 72 mm…………P. d. confucius, p. 172.