(1102) Passer montanus malaccensis.
The Malay Tree-Sparrow.
Passer malaccensis Dubois, Faun. 111. Vert. Beige, Ois., i, p. 572 (1885) (Malacca). Passer montanus. Blanf. & Oates,ii, p. 240 (part).
Vernacular names. Choto Gouriya (Hind.); Nok kra-chak ban (Siam); Sendung (Manipuri).
Description. A decidedly redder bird than the European Tree-Sparrow, the rump being strongly tinged with rufous; below they are all rather darker and, perhaps, also more tinged with rufous.
Colours of soft parts as in the preceding bird.
Measurements. Wing 67 to 71 mm.; tail 52 to 55 mm.; tarsus 17 to 18 mm.; culmen about 10 to 11 mm.
Distribution. The lower Himalayas from Human and Kashmir to Eastern Assam, the Hills of Burma and Malay Peninsula to Java, Sumatra and Borneo. East to Siam, Yunnan and South-West China. Birds from Northern China seem to be intermediate between montanus and malaccensis,
Nidification. The Malay Tree-Sparrow breeds practically throughout the year in the warmer parts of its range but in the hills most eggs are laid in May and June, many birds, however, having second broods in July and August. It frequents both light forest and open country and human habitations and where these have thatch roofs they form their fa\ourite nesting-sites. The nest, whether placed in a hole in tree, wall, thatch or burrow, is just a pad of grass, thatch and other oddments with a thick lining of leathers. The eggs, four to six in the North, three to five in the South, are like those of the House-Sparrow except in size but average darker and duller in colour and have no gloss. One hundred eggs average 19.2 x 14.2 mm.: maxima 21.3 x 15.0 and 21.2 x 15.1 mm.; minima 17.0 x 13.5 and 18.6 x 13.1 mm.
Habits. The Tree-Sparrow ascends the Himalayas up to some 7,000 feet or a little over. Stevens found it at about 7,200 feet near Darjiling and it probably occurs above this height in Kashmir. It may move vertically to some extent with the season but it is equally common all the year round both in the plains of Assam and at 6,000 feet in the hills. Until turned out by the House-Sparrow it keeps far more to houses than does the European House-Sparrow but once the House-Sparrow arrives, the Tree-Sparrow has to make way for it and then resorts to trees for nesting, roosting and feeding.