(1113) Montifringilla ruficollis.
The Red-necked Snow-Finch.
Montifringilla ruficollis Blanf., Proc. A. S. B., 1871, p. 227 (Kangra Lama Pass, N. Sikkim); Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 245.
Vernacular^names. Abye, Reb-che-har-po (Tibet).
Description. Lores black, extending through the eye and over the ear-coverts ; forehead and supercilium sordid white ; anterior crown grey, changing to umber-brown on the hind crown and nape ; the umber-brown becomes rufous on the ear-coverts, sides of the neck and lower throat; back raid scapulars light umber-brown streaked with darker brown ; rump and upper tail-coverts the same unstreaked; tail dark brown, edged rufescent,, outer feathers grey at base, with broad white patches between bases and tips; a moustachial streak dark brown; cheeks, chin and throat white; remainder of lower plumage fulvous-white, purer white on the centre of the abdomen; lesser wing-coverts brown, median and greater coverts brown, with broad white tips ; primaries brown, the first with a grey outer web, the inner with broad white basal patches; outer secondaries with similar white bases, inner secondaries broadly edged with rufescent.
Colours of soft parts. Iris orange-red; bill dark bluish -horny in Winter, black in Summer ; legs and feet black ( Walton)
Measurements. Total length about 165 mm.; wing 91 to 101 mm.; tail 55 to 58 mm. ; tarsus 19 to 20 mm.; culmen 10 to 11 mm.
Young birds are duller and darker above, have no white forehead and want the brown crown and rufous nape and sides of the neck; below, the fulvous tint is duller and there is a faint yellow wash on the abdomen.
Distribution. Tibet and Sikkim to Koko Nur and Kansu.
Nidification. Similar to that of the other Snow-Finches. Eggs taken by Steen and Macdonald are smaller than those of the other Snow-Finches and only measure about 21.0 x 15.7 mm. The few nests obtained were taken in May and June at an elevation of 12,000 feet.
Habits. Similar to those of other Snow-Finches. It is said to associate with Lagomys and also with birds of the genus Podoces, both the Podoces and the Snow-Finches appropriating the burrows of the mouse-hare for their nests.