(2254) Anser erythropus.
The Dwarf or Lesser White-fronted Goose.
Anas erythropus Linn., Syst. Nat., 10th ed., i, p. 123 (1758) (North Sweden). Anser erythropus. Blanf. & Oates, iv. p. 418.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Similar to the preceding bird but with much more white on the forehead, this generally running back to the eyes ; on the whole also, the colour is rather richer and darker, especially on the rump, head and neck.
Colours of soft parts. Eyelids pale orange-yellow, instead of livid flesh-colour, Other parts much the same as those of Anser albifrons.
Measurements. Wing, 360 to 388 mm., 352 to 380 mm. ; tail 95 to 109 mm.; tarsus about 58 to 62 mm.; culmen 28 to 35 mm.
Distribution. Lapland to extreme Eastern Siberia, breeding-South to Turkestan, Persia etc. In Winter it is found in small numbers throughout Central and South Europe and in great numbers in Central Asia, a few birds wandering into India and South China. In India it only occurs in very small numbers but has been recorded from Sind, Cashmere, North-West Provinces, United Provinces (more frequently), Calcutta and Assam.
Nidification. Similar to that of the White-fronted Goose, but it seems to breed even earlier, Middendorf recording young with their quills starting on the 29th of July. The eggs are much smaller and, perhaps, rather a deeper ivory in tint and decidedly longer in proportion. Eighty-four eggs average 76.4 x 48.8 mm.: maxima 84.5 x 50.5 and 77.8 x 52.0 mm.; minima 69.0 x 43.0 mm.
Habits. Similar to those of Anser albifrons, although it seems nowhere to occur in such vast numbers as that bird. Blanford found a goose breeding in Persia which he believed to have been of this species but failed to get an adult bird, though the young ones were caught and brought in for sale in the bazaars.