Anas boschas, Lin.
958. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. II, p. 798; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. IV, p. 27 ; Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 437; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 292; Game Birds of India, Vol. III, p. 151; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India; Ibis, 1885, p. 137.
Length, 22.5 to 24.5 ; expanse, 35 to 38; wing, 10.45 to 11.3; tail, 4.2 to 4.8 ; tarsus, 1.6 to 1.85 ; hill from gape, 2.5 to 2.75 ; weight, 2 1/2 to 3 lbs.
Length, 20 to 21.75 ; expanse, 33 to 35 ; wing, 9.2 to 10.8 ; tail, 4.1 to 4.7 ; tarsus, 1.5 to 1.7 ; bill from gape, 2.47 to 2.63 ; weight, 1 10/16 to 2 10/16 lbs.
Bill dingy greenish-yellow ; nail black ; irides brown ; legs and feet reddish-orange to vermilion-red.
Male, head and upper half of neck deep emerald-green, approaching to black on the cheeks and forehead; a white collar round the neck, hind-neck brown, with fine transverse grey lines ; mantle chesnut-brown, with pale margins to the feathers ; rump and upper tail-coverts blackish-green, the sides of the rump greyish-white, with fine transverse undulating line of clove-brown ; scapulars greyish-white, with cross wavy brown marks, and some of the outer ones chesnut, with darker cross lines ; wing-coverts and primaries brown; speculum deep Prussian-blue, with purple and green reflections, bounded on each side by a double border, the inner one velvet-black, the outer white; tail greyish-brown, all the feathers bordered with white; the four central feathers curled upwards ; lower-neck and breast dark chesnut; abdomen and flanks greyish-white, with transverse undulating lines of brown ; under tail-coverts blackish-green.
The female has the upper plumage brown, of different, shades, the feathers edged with pale reddish-brown; the head and neck creamy-white or yellowish with dusky streaks; speculum much as in the male ; throat buff or whitish ; breast and under-parts yellowish-brown, obscurely spotted and streaked with darker brown, the central tail-feathers not turned up.
The Mallard is a common cold weather visitant to Sind; it is occasionally met with in Guzerat, but in Central India and the Deccan it is extremely rare, only occurring as a straggler. It is one of the very best ducks for the table.