777. Passer pyrrhonotus

777. Passer pyrrhonotus.
The Rufous-backed Sparrow.

Passer pyrrhonotus, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xiii, p. 946 (1844) ; id. Cat. p. 119 ; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 365; Hume, Cat. no. 709; Hume, S. F. ix, pp. 232, 442 ; Doig, S. F. ix, p. 280 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xii, p. 316, pl. v ; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 266; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 162.

Coloration. Male. After the autumn moult the forehead, crown, and hind neck are ashy grey ; lores and under the eye blackish a broad band behind the eye and ear-coverts chestnut, with ashy fringes ; cheeks, ear-coverts, and sides of the neck ashy grey ; chin and throat black, with whitish fringes, and bordered on both sides by a broad whitish band; lower plumage pale ashy, becoming whiter on .the abdomen and under tail-coverts ; back chestnut, fringed with fulvous, and the inner web of each feather with a black streak; lesser wing-coverts, scapulars, and rump chestnut with ashy fringes ; median coverts almost entirely white; greater coverts blackish, edged with chestnut-brown ; quills dark brown, edged with pale chestnut-brown ; rump and upper tail-coverts ashy ; tail brown, edged with dull fulvous. In the spring and summer all the fringes on the various parts of the plumage get worn away, and those parts become a dark uniform colour.

Female. The whole upper plumage ashy brown, the feathers of the back with black streaks on the inner web ; median wing-coverts black, broadly tipped with pale buff; the greater coverts blackish, broadly edged with buff; the quills dark brown edged with buff, most broadly so at the base near the coverts; tail brown, narrowly edged with buff; a broad supercilium isabelline ; sides of head ashy ; the entire lower plumage pale ashy white.

Iris light brown; eyelids leaden slaty ; legs and toes dusky fleshy brown (Doig). In winter the bill is dusky brown, in summer probably black.

Length about 5.5; tail 2.1 ; wing 2.6; tarsus .65; bill from gape .45,

Distribution. Bahawalpur ; the Eastern Nara, Sind.

Habits, &c. Mr. Doig remarks that he never met with these Sparrows at any distance from water, and that they were usually seen in small flocks. Their food consists of seeds and insects.

He found three nests in August, built on the tops of acacia trees growing in the water. The nest resembles that of P. domesticus, and the eggs do not differ in colour from those of that species. They measure about .69 by .51.

The Fauna Of British India including Ceylon and Burma
OATES EW. The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Vol.2 1890.
Title in Book: 
777. Passer pyrrhonotus
Book Author: 
Eugene William Oates, Edited by William Thomas Blanford
Page No: 
Common name: 
Rufous Backed Sparrow
Sind Sparrow
Passer pyrrhonotus
Vol. 2
Term name: 

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