724. Ploceella javanensis.
The Golden Weaver-bird.
Loxia javanensis, Less. Tr. d'Orn. p. 446 (1831). Ploceella hypoxanthus (Daud.), Blyth, Cat. p. 114; Horsf. & M. Cat. ii, p. 513; Hume, N. & E. p. 442; id. S. F. iii, p. 154. Ploceella javanensis (Less.), Oates, S. F. v, p. 160; Hume, Cat. no. 696 bis; Oates, B. B. i, p. 362; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xiii, p. 474 ; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 124. Ploceella chryseus, Hume, S. F. vi, p. 399 note (1878).
Coloration. Male. After the autumn moult the whole upper plumage is rufous-brown streaked with dark brown; wings and tail brown, margined with rufous-brown; a supercilium, the sides of the head and neck, and the whole lower plumage tawny buff, becoming paler on the abdomen. After the spring moult, the cheeks, ear-coverts, chin, and throat become deep black; the remainder of the lower plumage, the sides of the neck, forehead, crown, nape, rump, and upper tail-coverts rich golden yellow; back and scapulars black, each feather edged with bright golden yellow ; wings and tail black, edged with pale yellowish, the latter also tipped with the same colour.
Female. Resembles the male in winter plumage.
The male in summer has the bill black with the underside of the lower mandible dark horn ; inside of the mouth flesh-colour; iris brown; eyelids grey ; legs pinkish flesh-colour ; claws horn-colour. The female in summer and both sexes in winter have the bill fleshy brown, dark on the upper and pale on the lower mandible, and the other parts as in the male in summer.
Length nearly 6 ; tail 2.3; wing 2.7 ; tarsus .8 ; bill from gape .55 ; the female has the tail about 1.9 and the wing about 2.5.
Distribution. Upper Burma and Pegu between the Irrawaddy and Sittoung rivers from Mandalay down to the Gulf of Martaban ; Northern Tenasserim ; Siam, Cochin China, and Java.
Habits, &c. Commences to breed in May and June, making a cylindrical nest of woven grass attached to several stalks of elephant-grass or sometimes placed in a thorny bush or tree. The eggs, either two or three in number, vary much in colour, being white, greenish white, grey, or purplish, either unmarked or marked with grey, greenish brown, and neutral tint. They measure about .73 by .54.