THE ORCHARD FINCH.
Fringilla campestris, Bonap. MS.
Fringilla campestris. Griff. Cuv. An. Kingd. Aves, ii. p. 303. pl. dated 1828 (1829).
Fringilla campestris, Russ, Stubenvogel, p. 476 (1879).
Fringilla fruticeti, Kittl. Kupf. der Vog. p. 18. pl. xxiii. fig. 1 (1833) ; Gould, Darwin’s Zool. Beagle, iii. p. 94 (1841) ; Fraser, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1843, p. 113 ; Russ, Stubenvogel, p. 476 (1879).
Euspiza fruticeti, Gray et Mitch. Gen. Birds, ii. p. 376 (1844). Chlorospiza fruticeti, Gay, Fauna Chilena, Aves, p. 357 (1847) ; Philippi, Zool. Chilena, An. Univ. Chile, xxxi. pp. 264, 304 (1868). Phrygilus fruticeti, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av. p. 476 (1850) ; Cass. Gilliss’s Exped, ii. p. 179 (1855) ; Burm. Syst. Uebers, iii. p. 232 (1856) ; Eyton, Cat. Birds, p. 251 (1856) ; Burm. Reise La Plata-staaten, ii. p. 487 (1861) ; Scl. Cat. Amer. Birds, p. 111 (1862) ; et Proc. Zool. Soc. 1867, pp. 322, 337 ; Scl. et Salv. Proc. Zool. Soc. 1867, p. 985, et 1868, p. 569 ; Scl. et Salv. Ibis, 1868, p. 185 ; et Proc. Zool. Soc. 1869, p. 152 ; Gray, Hand-List Birds, ii. p. 89 (1870) ; Hudson et Scl. Proc. Zool. Soc. 1872, pp. 537, 548, 550 ; Scl. Proc. Zool. Soc. 1873, p. 780 ; Scl. et Salv. Nomencl. Av. Neotr, p. 31 (1873) ; Tacz. Proc. Zool. Soc. 1874, p. 521 ; Scl. et Salv. Proc. Zool. Soc. 1874, p. 677, et 1876, p. 16 ; Durnf. Ibis, 1878, p. 393 ; Scl. et Salv. Proc. Zool. Soc. 1879, p. 606 ; Sharpe, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1881, p. 7 ; Scl. Proc. Zool. Soc. 1881, p. 486 ; Doring, Exped, al Rio Negro, Zool. p. 39 (1881-2) ; Salv. Cat. Birds Strickl. Coll. p. 228 (1882) ; Scl. Vert. Anim. Gard. Zool. Soc. p. 249 (1883) : Tacz. Ornith. Perou, iii. p. 37 (1886) ; Scl. Proc. Zool. Soc. 1886, p. 397 ; Scl. et Hudson, Argen. Ornith. i. p. 54 (1888).Rhopospina fruticeti, Cab. Mus. Hein. i. p. 135 (1851) ; Gray, Gen. et Subgen. Birds, p. 79 (1855).
Fringilla erythrorhyncha, Less, Journ, l’Inst. ii. p. 316 (1834) ; Scl. Proc. Zool. Soc. 1871, p. 497 ; Russ, Stubenvogel, p. 476 (1879). Chlorospiza erythrorhynea, Gay, Fauna Chilena, p. 358 (1847).
Emberiza luctuosa, Eyd. et Gerv. Mag. Zool. 1836, p. 24. pl. Ixxi. ; D’Orb. et Lafr. Syn. Av. i. p. 80 (1837) ; Bridge, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1841, p. 94 ; Russ, Stubenvogel, p. 476 (1879).
Diuca luctuosa, Licht. Nomencl. Av. Mus. Berol, p. 43 (1854). Phrygilus alavdina (F. campestris, Bp.), Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av. i. p. 476. pt. (1850).
Phrygilus alavdina (F. erythrorhynchus, Less.), Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av. i. p. 476. pt. (1850).
Figures, Griff. Cuv. An. Kingd. Aves, ii. pl. Kittl. Kupf. der Vog. pl. xxiii. Eyd. et Gerv. Mag. Zool. pl. Ixxi.
English. Field Finch. Orchard Finch. Red-billed Finch. Mourning Finch.
French. Le Pinson du verger. Le Pinson triste. Le Pinson de champ.
German. Strauch-Ammerfink. Busch-Ammerfink. Strauch-Ammer- sperling.
Castellano. Para negra.
Mountaineers of Chili. Jale.
Habitat. Patagonia, Chili, and Bolivia, extending its range into High Peru.
Male. Head, cheeks, and whole of back bright slaty-grey, slightly tinged with yellowish- brown on the mantle and secondaries ; centre of each feather on the crown, hind neck, mantle, and scapulars, more or less broadly streaked with black ; rump unstreaked and paler grey ; upper
tail-coverts pale silvery-grey, with shaft streak and tips black ; lesser wing-coverts black, edged with pale grey ; median coverts black, half the outer web white, forming a band ; greater wing-coverts black, narrowly margined with silvery-grey, tipped on the outer web with white, forming a narrow band ; primaries, secondaries, bastard wing, primary-coverts, and tail black, narrowly edged with pale ashy-grey, broader on the secondaries ; eyelids white ; lores, chin, throat, and breast black, gradually blending into the grey of the chest ; sides of chest, axillaries, sides, flanks, and thighs slaty-grey, tinged with yellowish-brown ; under wing-coverts blackish, edged with slaty-grey ; under side of wing dull brown ; belly white ; under tail-coverts greyish-white, slightly tinged with buff, with narrow black shaft streaks ; “iris dark hazel ; bill, legs, and toes brownish flesh-colour” (H. Whitely) : length 6.8 wing 3.65, tail 3.2, tars. 1.0, culm. 0.55.
Female. Crown of head, neck, and whole of back dull grey, washed with yellowish- brown, each feather streaked with brown, darkest on the crown and mantle ; rump and upper tail-coverts pale greyish-brown ; tail blackish-brown, the outer and two central feathers paler, the base of the outer web of first rectrices, and tips of the first, second, third, and fourth whitish ; scapulars like the mantle, but edged with rufous ; lesser wing-coverts grey ; median blackish-brown, with half the outer web dull white ; greater coverts brownish, edged with buffish-grey, and tipped on the outer web with dull white ; primaries and secondaries dull brown, the former faintly, the latter broadly edged with ashy-brown ; superciliary stripe, lores, cheeks, chin, and throat whitish, base of feathers blackish ; ear-coverts rufous, like the margins of the scapulars ; malar line, breast, sides, and flanks dull greyish-brown, faintly streaked with brown ; flanks and under tail-coverts strongly tinged with buff ; chest and belly nearly pure white ; axillaries and under wing-coverts ashy ; under surface of quills tinged with pale brown ; iris brown ; bill brown, lower mandible paler ; legs and feet browner than in the male.
Young Male. Above similar to the adult male, but with broad brown margins to the feathers of the mantle, scapulars, and tertials ; the spots on the median and greater wing-coverts white, tinged with buff ; primaries and tail blackish-brown, the former narrowly edged with white ; the black of the throat less extended, and edged with greyish-white ; belly greyish-white ; under tail-coverts dark ashy-grey, broadly edged with buffy-white.
Obser. The series of immature skins in my collection exhibit gradations of colour and markings from the first year’s plumage to the adult ; the very young males having rufous ear-coverts, the chin and cheeks nearly pure white ; the black of the throat not extending on to the breast ; under tail-coverts buff like those of the female ; some have subterminal grey spots on the under side of the outer rectrices.
The under tail-coverts of several females have narrow brown shaft streaks, probably attributable to age.
THE figure and description of Fringilla campestris given in the second volume (p. 304) of Griffith’s edition of ‘Cuvier’s Animal Kingdom’ are conclusively those of the bird now under consideration, and I here append Griffith’s short notice of it, which is as follows :—“The opposite is the figure of a Finch brought to this country in the curious collection of the Rev. Mr. Hennah, from Mexico, which does not appear to have been hitherto described. The general colour of the bird is blue slate, but on the top of the head this colour becomes nearly black ; on the back are several oval patches, and on the throat and breast are waved spots of the like colour ; the wing-feathers, in general, are black or dusky, with yellow margins, and the tail is nearly black.”
The plate opposite page 304 is dated 1828. Here, as in many other instances, the present bird was found in a “collection from Mexico,” which does not necessarily prove that it is a Mexican species, as it is well known not to extend its range north of High Peru ; therefore, the locality “ Mexico” led all earlier ornithologists to overlook the name given to this species by Prince Bonaparte before 1828, who afterwards, in his ‘ Conspectus,’ unites it with Phrygilus alaudina, another species of the same genus equally unlikely to be found in Mexico. Again, Griffith’s and Gray’s omission of all mention of the white band on the inner webs of the tail-feathers, decidedly characteristic marks in both sexes of the latter bird, determines my retaining the older specific appellation campestris in the synonymy.
This species appears to be exclusively a mountainous bird, keeping always to the higher ridges of the great Southern Cordillera, extending its range from High Peru, just below the perpetual snow, into La Paz in Bolivia, south to Chili and Patagonia, where it remains during the breeding season, descending only to lower ground during the winter months.
Mr. T. Bridges tells us it is “found in valleys of the Andes, inhabits hedges and bushy situations, and sings delightfully in summer. Iris dark brown.” Mr. C. Darwin “obtained specimens of this bird from Northern Chili and Southern Patagonia,” and says :—“I saw it also in the Cordillera of Central Chili, at an elevation of at least 8,000 feet, near the upper limit of vegetation. In Patagonia it is not common ; it frequents bushy valleys in small flocks from six to ten in number. These birds sometimes move from thicket to thicket with a peculiar soaring flight ; they occasionally utter very singular and pleasing notes.”
It was procured during Gilliss’s Expedition ; and Mr. J. Cassin adds the following note :—“ This little Finch frequents field and shrubbery, but is not a common species. It extends its range over the whole of western South America ; but, having been seldom seen by members of the expedition, may be regarded as rare in Chili.”
Mr. H. Whitely collected “specimens of both sexes of this species at Chihauta, Arequipa, Paueartambo and Tinta” ; at the latter locality he “shot them off cactus plants. Eye dark hazel ; bill, legs, and toes brownish flesh colour.” M. C. Jelski found it plentiful at Haunta and Junin (11,000 to 14,000 feet), in High Peru.
Among many of the valuable contributions to the 'Proceedings of the Zoological Society’ we have from the pen of Mr. W. H. Hudson the most interesting notes on the habits of the ‘Birds of Patagonia,’ from which I have much pleasure in adding those respecting the present species :—“ This is a pretty and elegant bird, though possessing no bright colours ; they go in pairs in the warm season, but in winter unite in flocks, often of two or three hundred individuals, and have a graceful, undulating flight. On being approached they utter a series of low ticking notes, and occasionally a long squealing cry. The male has also a very agreeable song, which continues all the year. In pleasant weather the song is heard at all hours ; on cold and cloudy days, only at sunset. The bird usually soars from his perch and utters his song while gliding down with wings depressed and tail outspread. When I first heard it, I was startled with its wonderful resemblance to the song of the Correndera Pipit (Anthus correndera) ; it is, however, much shorter and more powerful.
“This species is quite common in the thickets along the Rio Negro, in the neighbourhood of Carmen ; but, following up the river, appears to become much rarer.”
We are also indebted to Mr. H. Durnford for his observations on the habits of this bird (published in the ‘Proceedings of the Zoological Society’), which he says is :—“ Common at Chupat throughout the spring and sum¬mer, and often seen during our journey in the valleys ; it never wanders far from water. On the 20th September I took a nest on the hills near the colony ; it was a very neat structure of wool, feathers, and the flowers of a grass, and placed in the centre of a thick bush, about a foot above the ground. It contained two eggs, of a pale green ground-colour, thickly marked with dull chocolate spots and streaks. Iris wood-brown ; beak dark flesh-colour, tip of both mandibles and the whole of the upper man¬dible darkest ; legs and feet reddish flesh-colour.”
It has been procured at La Paz by d'Orbigny ; also at Tilotilo in the Province of Yungas, in Bolivia, by Mr. C. Buckley; at Cocpuimbo. by Mr. C. Darwin, Dr. Coppinger, and others.
Professor W. Nation (‘P. Z. S.’ 1881, p. 486) writing from Lima, W. Peru, says :—“Examples of males and females of this Finch have been sent to me from this side of the Cordillera, at an altitude of 14,000 feet. Food, seeds of the Lupinus tomentosus, which I saw growing on the sides of the Andes in 1851.”
No. Sex. Mus. Locality. Length. Wing. Tail. Tars. Culm.
a Male E. B. Paucartambo, High Peru (H. Whitely). 6.8 3.65 3.2 1 0.55
b Female E. B. Tinta, W. Peru (H. Whitely). 6.35 3.65 3.15 1 0.55
c Male E. B. Santiago (Weisshaupt). 7.5 3.8 3.15 0.95 0.55
d Male Imm. E. B. Chili (C. Reed). 7.05 3.8 3.25 0.9 0.55
e Male Imm. E. B. Chili (C. Reed). 7.15 3.9 3.2 0.95 0.5
f Male Imm. E. B. Chili (C. Reed). 7.15 3.8 3.1 0.95 0.5
g Female E. B. Chili (C. Reed). 6.75 3.85 3.1 0.95 0.5
h Female E. B. Chili (C. Reed). 6.75 3.7 3.15 0.9 0.5
i Female E. B. Chili (C. Reed). 7.05 3.75 3.15 0.9 0.5
j Male Imm. E. B. Chili (C. Reed). 6.8 3.65 3.15 0.9 0.55
k Male Imm. E. B. Rio Negro (W. H. Hadson.) 7.1 3.9 3.15 0.95 0.55
l Male Imm. E. B. Chili 7.1 3.85 3.1 0.95 0.55
m Male E. B. Chili (Bridges). 6.15 3.75 3.3 1 0.55
n Male E. B. Chili 6.5 3.75 3.1 0.95 0.55
o Male E. B. Chili (Murray). 6.7 3.8 3.1 0.95 0.55
p Male E. B. Chili (Bridges). 6.9 3.85 3.3 0.95 0.55
q Female E. B. Chili (Bridges). 6.6 3.45 2.95 0.95 0.5
The figures are taken from a and i.