Pratincola rubicola, (Linn.) Syst. Nat. i. p. 332 (1766) ; Naumann, iii. p. 884, Taf. 90, figs. 3, 4, 5 ; Hewitson, i. p. 107, pl. xxx. fig. 1 ; Newton, i. p. 339) ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Br. Mus. iv. p. 185 ; Dresser, ii. p. 263, pls. 39, 40 ; Saunders, p. 29 ; Lilford, iii. p. 18. pl. 9.
Tarier rubicole, French ; Chasco, Portug. ; Tarabilla, Span. ; Saltimpalo, Ital. ; Schwarzkehliger-Steinschmatzer, German ; Rood-borst-Tapuit, Dutch ; Sortstrubet-Digesmutte, Dan. ; Svarthakad- Buskskvatta, Swed. ; Tschekkan tschernochvostyi, Russ.
Male ad. (England). Head, throat, nape and back black ; tail-coverts white, spotted with blackish brown ; wing and tail dark brown, a con¬spicuous white patch on the former ; sides of neck white ; under parts light rufous, darker on the breast, lighter on the abdomen ; bill and legs black ; iris brown. Culmen 0.55, wing 2.55, tail 2.0, tarsus 0.85 inch. The female has the throat merely mottled with black, the upper parts blackish brown, striped with reddish brown ; sides of neck rufous white ; alar patch small, and the under parts more yellowish. The young bird is blackish brown above, striated with dull ochreous, upper tail-coverts rufous ; wings and tail feathers margined with rufous buff ; under parts ochreous indistinctly striped.
Hab. Europe from southern Sweden, where it is a mere straggler, down to the Mediterranean, and east to the valley of the Volga. In winter, Africa as far south as Senegal.
Frequents the same localities as the Whinchat, but as a rule seldom damp places, and its food is the same as that species’. Its call note is a sharp tak, tak, and its song though short is agreeable. Its nest which is constructed of dry grass and moss, lined with hair, feathers, and occasionally wool, is placed on the ground, usually under a bush, and well concealed. The eggs 4 to 6 in number are pale greenish blue spotted, chiefly at the larger end, with reddish brown, and are usually deposited in April or May. Two broods are usually raised in the season.
69. Pratincola rubicola