(1091) Chrysomitris thibetana.
The Tibetan Siskin.
Chrysomitris thibetana Hume, Ibis, 1872, p. 107 (Sikkim). Chrysomitris tibetana. Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 232.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Lores, a patch under the eye, an ill-denned -supercilium reaching to the neck and meeting a still more weakly-defined collar bright yellow ; upper plumage and wing-coverts olive yellow-green, the back and scapulars faintly streaked with dark brown, sometimes hardly visible; rump brighter and more yellow ; tail dark brown, the feathers edged outwardly with olive-yellow; greater wing-coverts and quills dark brown, edged with olive-yellow, most broadly so on the inner secondaries ; under¬parts deep yellow, washed with olive on the sides of the neck and flanks ; axillaries and under wing-coverts yellowish white.
Colours of soft parts. Iris brown; bill pinkish grey; legs fleshy-grey.
Measurements. Total length about 120 to 125 mm.; wing 69 to 71 mm.; tail 41 to 43 mm.; tarsus 13 to 14 mm.; culmen about 9 to 10 mm.
Female. Similar to the male but paler and duller; the upper parts are streaked practically throughout with dark brown and the lower the same except on the throat and upper breast.
Young birds are like the female but more extensively streaked. The abdomen, vent and under tail-coverts are more white and less yellow.
Distribution. Sikkim and Tibet.
Nidification. Very little known. Whymper's and Ward's collectors procured one nest in Ladakh, and Masson and Macdonald obtained nests and eggs for me in Native Sikkim at about 14,000 feet. These vary from those of Hypacanthis s. spinoides in being rather smaller, the eggs being about 18.0 x 13.3 mm.
Habits. Apparently a bird of very high elevations, even in Winter not venturing far below the snow-line. It frequents thin forest and open hillsides, feeding on grass- and other seeds and berries.