Spatula clypeata (Linn.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 200 (1766) ; (Naum.), xi. p. 747, Taf. 306 ; (Hewitson), ii. p. 400, pl, cxii. fig. 2 ; (Gould), B. of E. v. pl. 360 ; id. B. of Gt. Brit. v. pl. 14 ; Dresser, vi. p. 497, pl. 425 ; (Audubon), B, Am. vi. p. 293, pl. 394 ; Salvadori, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxvii. p. 306 ; Tacz. F. O. Sib. O. p. 1151 ; Blanf. F. Brit. Ind. Birds, iv. p. 452 ; Ridgway, p. 97 ; Saunders, p. 427 ; (Lilford), vii. p. 90, pl. 35.
Souchet, French ; Pato tromheteiro, Portug. ; Pato cuchareta, Span. ; Cucchiarone, Ital. ; Loffelente, German ; Slobeend, Dutch ; Skeand, Dan. ; Shovland, Norweg. ; Skedand, Swed. ; Lapasorsa, Finn. ; Schirokonoska, Ootka soksoon, Russ. ; Tidari, Punana, Hindu. ; Hashibiro-gamo, Jap.
Male ad. (England). Head and upper neck black glossed with bottle- green and purple ; hind-neck and back blackish brown with dull white margins, the rump and upper tail-coverts imperceptibly edged with dull fulvous ; lower neck and scapulars white ; middle tail-feathers brownish grey edged with whitish, the rest dull white with dark centres ; wing- coverts sky-blue, the last row tipped with white ; speculum bright metallic green narrowly tipped with white ; under parts rich rufous ; under tail- coverts creamy yellow marbled with brown ; a white patch on each side of the base of the tail ; bill black, very broad towards the end ; legs and feet bright orange ; iris yellow. Culmen 2.9, wing 9.0, tail 3.1, tarsus 1.3 inch. The female has the head, neck, and upper parts dark brown with clay- yellow or clay-brown margins ; under parts dull clay with dark spots on the breast and flanks ; wings as in the male but much duller, the wing- coverts only washed with bluish. In the summer the male assumes a dress like the female but darker, and the blue on the wings and green speculum are retained.
Hab. Europe generally, north to the Arctic circle ; North Africa, in winter south to Somaliland and Casamance ; Asia east to Japan, north to Kamchatka, south to Southern China, India and Ceylon in winter; North America from Alaska to Mexico, in winter ranging as far south as Panama.
Is a fresh-water duck, though not unfrequently to be seen on the sea-coast ; it feeds principally on the seeds of various aquatic plants and vegetable matter, aquatic insects, grain, etc. Usually it is not so shy as Anas boscas, and is as a rule a silent bird, but in the breeding season its note took, took, may be heard. It breeds in May, June, and July, its nest being a depression in the soil near water, lined with grass and down. Its eggs, 8 to 14 in number, are pale greenish grey, sometimes greyish cream, and measure about 2.0 by 1.37.
845. Spatula clypeata