(1105) Passer rutilans cinnamomeus.
The Cinnamon Tree-Sparrow.
Pyrgita cinnamomea Gould, P. Z.1835, p. 185 (Himalayas, Bhutan, Hartert). Passer cinnamomeus. Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 240.
Vernacular names. Lali gouriya (Hind.); Inkurui (Kacha Naga); Kang-chi-go-ma (Tibet); Sendang (Manipuri).
Description. - Male. Lores and feathers under the eye black; forehead to upper tail-coverts bright chestnut-red, the feathers of the back with broad black marks on the outer webs and all with pale fringes which soon wear off; upper tail-coverts brown, with ashy-grey margins; tail dark brown, with fulvous-grey edges to each feather; lesser wing-coverts chestnut; median wing-coverts black, broadly tipped with white; greater coverts black, broadly edged with rufous and tipped paler; winglet and primary-coverts black; primaries and secondaries black, edged with fulvous and with the usual broader patch near the base; inner secondaries broadly ed#ed with rufous or fulvous-rufous; chin and throat black, fringed with white until this wears off; a patch on either side of the throat yellow ; sides of head and rest of lower plumage yellowish grey, more yellow on the flanks, abdomen and vent and all yellow on the under tail-coverts.
Colours of soft parts. Iris brown; bill black in Summer; horny-brown in Winter, yellowish below; legs and feet dark reddish-brown or horny-brown.
Measurements. Total length about 130 to 140 mm.; wing 65 to 79 mm.; tail 46 to 55 mm.; tarsus 16 to 19 mm.; culmen about 10 to 11 mm. Manipur birds are very small, wing 65 to 69 mm.; Assam birds measure 69 to 72 mm. and others 70 to 79 mm.
Female. A broad supercilium to the nape fulvous-white; a dusky line through the eye; upper plumage brown, suffused with rufous on the upper tail-coverts and lesser wing-coverts; wings and tail as in the male; sides of the head and whole lower plumage pale ashy-yellow.
Distribution. Eastern Himalayas, Nepal, Tibet and Eastern Assam, North and South of the Brahmaputra; Manipur, Northern Burma, West of the Irrawaddy.
Nidification. The Cinnamon Sparrow breeds from April to August, having at least two broods yearly. In places when there are villages without too many Tree-Sparrows to bully it, its favourite nesting-place is a thatch roof, in which it makes a tunnel for its nest. It also breeds in open country and forest and is very foud of holes in trees in clearings in forest. The nest and eggs are similar to those of the Tree-Sparrows but the latter are more glossy and richly coloured and, as a rule, more obtuse so that they look broader. One hundred eggs average 19.2x14.2 mm.: maxima 21.1 x 14.1 and 19.0 x 14.8 mm., minima 17.0 x 13.0 mm.
Habits. Similar to those of the Tree-Sparrows. It occurs up to about 7,500 feet throughout its range and breeds right down to the foot-hills but is not common below 2,000 feet. It is often found in forests and jungles far from any cultivation or building and probably originally was a purely forest bird. Its note is much sweeter and softer than that of any of the other Sparrows and it has quite an effective little chattering song which it repeats, sitting perched high up on the topmost bough of some forest giant. It is not gregarious during any part of the year and its flight is swifter and more direct than that of the Tree-Sparrows.