1103. Passer laontanus dilutus

(1103) Passer montanus dilutus Richmond.
THE AFGHAN TREE-SPARROW.
Paster montanus dilutus. Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed, vol. iii, p. 178.
The Afghan Tree-Sparrow breeds from Turkestan to Afghanistan, Yarkand and Gilgit. No record of its breeding within our limits exists except on the Afghan Frontier, This breeding is summarized by Whitehead as follows:—“Common in winter in the Miranzai Valley, a few individuals occurring as low as Kohat and Banda. Mr. Donald found a neat with young in Doaba Station (3,000 ft.) in May and says that the bird neats regularly at Shinauri (3,800 ft.). It possibly also does so at Thull (2,550 ft,), where I observed a solitary example on the 18th May, In the Upper Kurram this species and P. domesticus are present in about equal numbers in Summer, and build alongside one another in houses ; but the former, as noted by Capt. Fulton in his paper on ‘The Birds of Chitral' gets the pick of the nesting sites before the latter’s arrival, and in many cases P. domesticus has to put up with holes in cliffs.”
The enormous number of these birds in the Kurram Valley is referred to by Rattray (Journ. Bomb. Nat. Hist. Soc, vol. xii, p. 340, 1899):— “During March these birds passed through Thull in thousands, and all from these parts appear to go to the Upper Kurram Valley to breed. I found 20 and 30 nests in every house and verandah in Parachinar in July.”
In Quetta also it is very common. Meinertzhagen remarks (Ibis, 1920, p. 141) :—“An abundant resident. Three obtained in January, May and December agree well with Turkestan specimens, “Fresh eggs were found from 2, iv. to 4. vi., and all nests were in or near human habitations. This species does not ascend above 7,500 feet.”
The breeding season on our frontier lasts from April to August, and many birds have two or more broods.
Ludlow found this Sparrow breeding freely at Koh Terek in May and sent me a fine series of their eggs. These show all the variations of other Tree-Sparrow eggs and number five or six in a clutch, whilst the hirda on the Indian frontier seem to lay four or five.
Taking them as a whole they are dull eggs and longer in pro¬portion to their breadth than most Tree-Sparrow eggs.
Forty eggs average 19.8 x 14.1 mm. : maxima 23.0 x 14.2 and 20.2 x 15.0 mm. ; minima 18.2 x 13.4 mm.

BookTitle: 
The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Reference: 
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 3. 1934.
Title in Book: 
1103. Passer laontanus dilutus
Spp Author: 
Richmond.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
1103
Year: 
1934
Page No: 
80
Common name: 
Afghan Tree Sparrow
M_ID: 
29416
M_SN: 
Passer montanus dilutus
Volume: 
Vol. 3
Term name: 
id: 
14198

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Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith