Mareca penelope (Linn.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 202 (1766) ; (Naum.) xi. p. 724, Taf. 305 ; Hewitson, ii. p. 412, pl. cxiv. fig. 3 ; Gould, B. of E. v. pl. 359 ; id. B. of Gt. Brit. v. pl. 13 ; Dresser, vi. p. 541, pls. 432, 433 ; David and Oust. Ois. Chine, p. 499 ; Salvadori, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxvii. p. 227 ; Blanf. F. Brit. Ind. Birds, iv. p. 445 ; Tacz. F. O. Sib. O. p. 1156 ; Ridgway, p. 96 ; Saunders, p. 437 ; Lilford, vii. p. 101, pl. 41.
Canard siffleur, French ; Assobiadeira, Portug. ; Pato-florentino, Span. ; Fischione, Ital. ; Pfeifente, Blassente, German ; Smient, Dutch ; Pibeand, Blisand, Dan. ; Brunnakke, Norweg. ; Blasand, Swed. ; Snartal, Lapp. ; Haapana, Finn. ; Swijas, Swestun, Russ. ; Peasan, Patari, Hindu. ; Hidori, Jap.
Male ad. (England). Forehead and fore-crown warm ochreous ; rest of head and neck rich rusty red ; region round and behind the eye, front of throat, lower neck, and nape marked with green ; upper parts and flanks white vermiculated with black ; wing-coverts greyish brown and white ; speculum green ; elongated alar feathers blackish grey on the inner and black margined with white on the outer web ; upper breast pinky vinous ; under parts white ; under tail-coverts black ; beak blue-grey, the tip black ; legs plumbeous ; iris reddish brown. Culmen 1.55, wing 10.2, tail 4.8, tarsus 1.55 inch. The female has the head and neck greyish ochreous striped with black ; upper parts dull brown with whitish margins ; speculum absent ; under parts white, the breast marked with reddish brown, the under tail-coverts with greyish brown. In the late summer the male resembles the female but the head and neck are dull chestnut spotted with black ; no buff patch ; wings as above but the wings-coverts are ashy grey ; upper breast and flanks rusty brown.
Hab. Europe generally, breeding in the high north, migrating in winter to Africa, as far south as Abyssinia, and Madeira ; Asia north to Kamchatka, east to Japan, and south in winter to China, India, and Borneo ; of occasional occurrence in Eastern North America and more frequent in Alaska.
Resembles the Teal in its choice of habitat, and though also found on the sea-coast usually frequents quiet bays, inlets, and mud-banks. It feeds on vegetable substances, aquatic insects, crustaceans, &c. and does not dive in search of food. Its whistling note is very frequently to be heard, especially at night. it breeds both near water and at some distance from it, its nest being a depression in the ground lined with down and a few grass-bents and moss. The eggs which are deposited in May or early in June are creamy white and measure about 2.27 by 1.55.
854. Mareca penelope