Querquedula crecca, Linn.
964. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. II,. p. 806 ; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. IV, p. 30; Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 438; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 300; Game Birds of India, Vol. III, p. 205 ; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India ; Ibis, 1885, p. 137.
THE COMMON TEAL.
Length, 14.5 to 15.85; expanse, 23.0 to 25.25 ; wing, 7.2 to 8.0 ; tail, 3.0 to 3.6; tarsus, 1.1 to 1.3; bill from gape, 1.65 to 1.8 ; weight, 10 1/2 to 15 ozs.
Length, 13.5 to 14.9 ; expanse, 22.5 to 25.0 ; wing, 6.5 to 7.4 ; tail, 2.9 to 3.5 ; tarsus, 10 to 12 ; bill from gape, 1.5 to 1.77 ; weight, 7 7/16 to 12 ozs.
Bill blackish ; irides hazel-brown ; legs and feet greyish-brown. Male, crown. of head, cheeks, front and sides of the neck, ferruginous-brown ; on the sides_of the head, enclosing the eye, a large patch of deep glossy green, passing off backwards to the nape in the form of a black band ; back and scapulars beautifully marked with transverse undulating lines of black and white, some of the longer scapulars creamy-yellow with a portion of their outer webs velvet-black; tail hair-brown, the feathers edged with white ; wing-coverts brown, tinged with grey ; the speculum, formed by the tips of the secondary-coverts, deep green in the middle, velvet-black at the sides, bordered above by a broad yellowish-white bar; chin black; lower part of the neck in front and breast reddish or creamy-white, with round black spots; abdomen white; lower tail-coverts blackish-brown, bordered at the sides with yellowish-white.
The female has the head, neck, and all the upper parts, dusky-brown, the feathers more or less broadly edged with pale reddish-brown ; the throat, cheeks, and a band behind the eyes, yellowish-white, spotted with black ; the speculum as in the male, and the under parts yellowish-white.
The Common Teal is most abundant throughout the entire region ; it is one of the earliest ducks to arrive. It is excellent eating.