1596. Nettium formosum.
The Baikal Teal or Clucking Teal.
Anas formosa, Georgi, Reise Russ. Reich, p. 168 (1775). Anas glocitans, Pallas, Kon. Svensk. Vet.-Ak. Handl. xl, p. 20, pl. i (1779). Querquedula glocitans, Blyth, Cat. p. 305 ; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 808 ; Hume, S. F. viii, p. 412. Querquedula formosa, Hume, S. F. vii, p. 494; viii, p. 494; id. Cat. no. 966; Hume & Marsh. Game B. iii, p. 225, pl.; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 411. Nettion formosum, Salvadori, Cat. B. M. xxvii, p. 240.
Coloration. Male. Forehead and crown, a band from beneath the eye to the throat, chin and throat black, the crown-feathers often with brown tips; a crescentic green band from eye to eye round the nape, widening behind; three black streaks from behind it, one on the hind neck and one on each side, the latter converging but not meeting below ; sides of head and upper neck buff, the two areas meeting behind the throat across the fore neck, but each divided by the black line from the eye ; narrow borders to all black areas on head and neck white; back, shorter scapulars, sides of breast, and flanks very finely vermiculated with dark grey and white; longer scapulars lanceolate, the outer webs rufous outside, black inside, inner webs silky brownish white; interscapulars (sometimes the middle of the upper back also) brown, the feathers pale-edged; lower back and rump greyer; upper tail-coverts brown, with whitish edges inside; tail-feathers and quills dark brown, speculum formed by outer webs of secondaries, greenish bronze near the coverts, then black and with pure white tips, tertiaries with some velvety black on the outer webs, narrowly bordered by brownish buff; wing-coverts brown, the greater secondary coverts with rufous tips ; breast pale brownish vinous with small round black spots ; on each side of the breast is a transverse white band just under the bend of the wing; abdomen white; under tail-coverts black, with pale reddish-brown outer edges, the longest coverts whitish.
Female. Upper parts, wings, and tail brown, with paler edges to the feathers, crown darkest; speculum as in the male, but the rufous and bronze-green bands duller; a buff spot on each side of the head in front of the lores, another under each eye; sides of head and neck buff or pale rufous speckled with brown ; lower parts white, except lower fore neck and upper breast, which are light rufous brown with dark brown spots.
Bill dark bluish brown; irides chestnut-brown; feet light-greyish blue. Tail-feathers 14.
Length 15.5 ; tail 3.1; wing 8.25 ; tarsus 1.4 ; bill from gape 1.9. Female rather less.
The female may be distinguished from that of N. crecca by its speculum and by the whitish loral spot.
Distribution. Chiefly Eastern Siberia, China, and Japan, breeding in the north of the area; an occasional straggler is found in Western Asia or in Europe. Only a few cases of this bird's occurrence in India have been recorded. A male was obtained in the Calcutta bazaar by Blyth in 1844, another by Mr. Chill near Delhi in November 1879, a third by Mr. E. James in Sind, and a fourth, probably of this species, by Col. McMaster in the Northern Circars. The bird is also said to have been seen, or its peculiar loud clucking note heard, in other places, but specimens have not been kept for comparison.