(1076) Procarduelis nipalensis nipalensis.
The Nepal Dark Rose-Pinch.
Carduelis nipalensis Hodgs.. As. Res., xix,.p. 157 (1836) (Nepal). Procarduelis nepalensis Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 223.
Vernacular names. Ka-biya (Lepcha).
Description. - Adult male. Forehead, anterior crown and a broad supercilium rosy-crimson; lores and a broad line through the eye blackish crimson; posterior crown and nape deep velvety crimson; upper plumage and wing-coverts deep brown tinged with crimson and the edges to all the feathers paler and more crimson ; wing and tail-quills brown edged with crimson which, except on the inner secondaries, is soon lost by abrasion ; cheeks, chin, throat, lower breast and abdomen rosy-red, paler than the forehead; upper breast and flanks crimson-brown; under tail-coverts brown margined with pinkish white; under wing-coverts and axillaries brown.
Colours of soft parts. Iris dark brown ; bill dark horny-brown, paler on the gonys ; legs and feet fleshy-brown.
Measurements. Total length about 160 mm.; wing 87 to 94 mm.; tail 64 to 67 mm,; tarsus 21 to 22 mm.; culmen 11 to 12 mm.
Female. Upper plumage dark brown obsoletely edged with ochraceous, the back with the dark centres and pale margins better defined ; wing dark brown, the coverts and inner secondaries broadly tipped on the outer web with ochraceous; tail brown, very narrowly edged with the same; sides of the head and neck and whole lower plumage ochraceous-brown, the under tail-coverts paler and with dusky centres.
Distribution. Kashmir, Kuman, Garhwal, Sikkim, Bhutan aud Assam Bast to the hills above Sadya.
Nidification. Whymper found this bird breeding on the Pindari Glacier, Kuman, at a height of 12,000 to 14,000 feet but failed to find its nest. After he left, his native collector obtained a nest with three eggs which he forwarded with the parent birds. The eggs have a pinkish-white ground and are blotched and speckled with light reddish-brown, rather freely at the larger end, sparsely elsewhere. They measure 22.2 x 15.3, 22.9 x 15.1 and 22.3 x 15.3 mm. They were taken in the latter part of August 1912.
Habits. This Rose-Finch frequents altitudes in Summer between 10,000 and 14,000 feet, perhaps also up to greater heights as the snow-line retreats. In Winter it collects in large flocks, generally restricted to one sex, and then descends to 7,000 feet. Rarely it descends to 4,500 feet, at which elevation Stevens found it in Sikkim. A tame, confiding bird, feeding in the Alpine pastures and in thin oak and rhododendron forests.