2272. Nettion formosum

(2272) Nettion formosum.

The Baikal Teal.

Anas formosa Georgi, Bemerk. Reise Buss. Reich., p. 168 (1775) (Sweden). Nettium formosum. Blanf. & Oates, iv, p. 442.

Vernacular names. None recorded.

Description. - Male. Forehead, crown, chin, throat, upper fore- neck and a broad line surrounding the eye running to the fore-neck black, narrowly edged with pure white ; a patch from behind the eye meeting on the nape and expanding on the sides of the neck metallic green ; on the neck the green is followed on the sides by a black patch, whilst there is another black patch on the hind-neck, both surrounded with white except on the lower side of the hind-neck ; face buff; space behind the ocular black line buff, meeting on the fore-neck below the black ; a narrow indistinct white line below this on the neck ; upper back, shorter outer scapulars, sides of breast and flanks very finely vermiculated slate-grey and white, the first colour dominant; a line down centre of back, interscapulars and lower back brown, each feather edged paler ; lower back and rump greyer and more uniform ; tail-coverts brown, the inner webs edged with white; tail brown, finely edged with paler brown; longer scapulars black, the inner webs white and outer webs edged bright rufous ; wing-coverts brown, the greater secondary coverts tipped with rufous; primaries light brown, darker on the tips and outer webs ; outer webs of secondaries next the coverts bronze-green, forming the speculum, followed by bold black sub-tips and white tips; inner secondaries brown, those between the speculum and the third innermost marked with black and edged with rufous on the outer webs ; upper breast, next the white ring, vinous-buff changing to buff on the lower breast and finally to white, pale buff or rusty on the lower plumage to the vent; a white bar under the shoulder of the wing ; axillaries white, mottled with light brown at the bases; under tail-coverts black, tipped with mottly white and pale rufous; a white band on the extreme posterior flanks next the coverts.

Colours of soft parts. Iris brown, red-brown or chestnut-brown; bill dark bluish or slaty-black to black; legs and feet pale plumbeous or slaty-blue.

Measurements. Wing 203 to 219 mm.; tail 86 to 95 mm.: tarsus about 31 to 35 mm.; culmen 33 to 38 mm.

Female. Upper parts dark brown, almost black on the crown ; the feathers edged pale fulvous, making the head and neck look streaked and the back and scapulars squamated; lower back and rump greyer and the pale edges obsolete; wings as in the male but the speculum restricted in size and with less green; a narrow supercilium, sides of head and posterior lores white streaked with dark brown; anterior lores, a patch in front of the eye and a narrow streak behind dark brown; a buff or white spot below the brown lores ; chin and throat white or buffy-white ; lower plumage white, buffy-white or pale rusty; the lower fore-neck streaked with dark brown; breast darker rufous-buff than elsewhere, with broad blackish-brown centres, these continue down the flanks, becoming smaller and paler ceasing altogether in the centre of the abdomen; vent and under tail-coverts more broadly centred with brown ; axillaries and median under wing-coverts pure white, the extreme bases barred with blackish.

Young males closely resemble the females but are more heavily spotted on the breast and barred on the flanks.

Distribution. Siberia, from Lake Baikal, Bast to Mongolia, Mauchuria, Japan and Northern China. In Winter South to India, Burma and China. In India this is one of our rarest visitors. Blyth obtained one specimen in the Calcutta Bazaar; in 1879 Chill obtained a male near Delhi. Since then the following have been recorded : - 1898, Gujarat (Barton); 1907, two, Behar {De Vitre); 1908, 1909, Lyallpur, (Aitken); 1912, Assam (one Helen and one Harrison); 1913, Goruckpore (Hope Simpson), Dibrugarh (Colonel Row), Manipur (Higgins); 1916, Manipur (Higgins) .

Nidification. Middendorf found this beautiful Teal breeding on the Boganida in June and July; Dybowski obtained eggs in Darasan in June, whilst I have one egg of a clutch taken on the Amur on the 29th of April. The nest is said to be like that of the Common Teal and generally placed in meadow-like land on the banks of rivers or lakes and well hidden. Twenty eggs average 48.0 x 34.3 mm.: maxima 58.5 x 36.0 mm.; minima 45.0 X 32.5 mm.

In colour they are a pale buff, very like the eggs of the Common Teal.

Habits. Like those of other species of the genus, frequenting lakes, ponds and marshes, less often rivers and open water. The voice is very distinctive, a loud clucking which has been likened to the syllable "mok," rapidly repeated. Pzjevalsky remarks that when on migration this Teal flies very low over the plains which surround the lakes they resort to.

The Fauna Of British India, Including Ceylon And Burma-birds(second Edition)
Baker, EC S (1922–1930) The fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Second edition. vol.6 1929.
Title in Book: 
2272. Nettion formosum
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Baikal Teal
Baikal Teal
Anas formosa
Vol. 6
Term name: 

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