Anas poecilorhyncha, Forst.
959. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. II, p. 799 ; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. IV, p. 29; Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 437; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 292; Game Birds of India, Vol. III, p. 165; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India; Ibis, 1885, p. 137.
THE GREY or SPOT-BILLED DUCK.
Length, 22 to 25.9 ; expanse, 32.5 to 38.5 ; wing, 9.2 to 11.2; tail, 4.9 to 5.8 ; tarsus, 17 to 1.93 ; bill from gape, 2.3 to 2.75 ; weight, 1 14/16 to 3 1/4 lbs.
Bill black, red at base, yellow at tip ; irides brown ; legs and feet coral to vermilion-red, in young birds inclining to orange. Top of the head and nape dark sepia-brown, with some pale brown edgings; a dark brown line from the upper mandible through the eye ending in a point; supercilium, whole face, and neck dingy fulvous with small brown streaks, enlarging on the lower neck; upper plumage, including the lesser and median wing-coverts and scapulars, hair-brown; greater-coverts white, edged with deep black ; primaries brown ; secondaries, forming a conspicuous speculum, glossy green, with a black tip, narrowly edged with white on the innermost feathers ; tertiaries white externally (forming a continuous line with the white coverts), hair-brown internally; lower back and rump black; tail deep brown ; beneath, from the breast, pale earthy or dingy-white, with numerous brown spots, increasing in size on the abdomen and flanks ; vent and under tail-coverts deep blackish-brown.
The Grey Duck is a more or less tolerably common permanent resident throughout the district. It is a very good eating bird, almost when in good condition rivalling the Mallard in flavor and delicacy. It breeds towards the close of the rains, making a nest amongst sedges and rushes. The eggs, six or seven in number, are broad ovals, white or greyish-white in color, measuring 2.16 inches in length by about 1.71 in breadth.