1609. Nyroca fuligula.
The Tufted Duck
Anas fuligula, Linn. Syst. Nat. i, p. 207 (1766). Anas cristata, Leach, Syst. Cat. p. 39 (1816), nec Gmelin. Nyroca fuligula, Flem. Phil. Zool. ii, p. 260 (1822). Fuligula cristata, Steph. in Shaw's Gen. Zool. xii, pt. 2, p. 190 (1824);. Blyth, Cat. p. 306 ; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 815 ; McMaster, J. A. S. B. xl, pt. 2, p. 215; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xliii, pt. 2, p. 176; Batter S. F. iv, p. 31 ; v, p. 234; Ball, S. F. vii, p. 232; Hume, ibid. p. 496; id. Cat. no. 971; Hume & Marsh. Game B. iii, p. 277; Tidal, S. F. ix, p. 93; Butler, ibid. p. 439; Scully, Ibis, 1881, p. 593 ; Reid, S. F. x, p. 85; Davidson, ibid. p. 326 ; Barnes, Birds Bom, p. 414; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 347. Fulix cristata, Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xli, pt. 2, p. 256; Hume, S. F. i, p. 265; Davids, & Wend. S. F. vii, p. 93. Fuligula fuligula, Salvadori, Cat. B. M. xxvii, p. 363.
Dubaru, Ablak, Rahwdra, H.; Turdndo, Sind; Malac, Nepal Terai; Nella chilluwa, Tel.
Coloration. Male. Head, neck, breast, upper parts, wings, and tail black, sides of head and of upper neck glossed with green; occiiput and long pendent occipital crest glossed with purple; back and scapulars finely speckled with whitish; primaries greyish brown, dark brown on outer borders and tips, secondaries white with black tips, tertiaries glossed with green; abdomen and sides of body white ; under tail-coverts black.
In the female the head, neck, and upper parts are brown as is the upper breast, but this colour passes gradually into the white or pale ashy brown of the abdomen ; flanks brown; crest present but smaller than in the male.
Young birds resemble females but are paler. Males after the summer moult are brown instead of black, and have the back and lower neck indistinctly powdered with greyish white.
Bill, legs, and feet from dull leaden to light greyish blue ; tip of bill black ; irides golden yellow (Hume).
Length 17; tail 2.2; wing 8 ; tarsus 1.4; bill from gape 1.9. Females slightly smaller.
Distribution. Throughout the Palaearctic region, breeding far North and migrating South in winter, when this duck is found in North Africa as far south as Shoa, and in India. It perhaps breeds in Lake Ashangi on the highlands, of Abyssinia, but it has not hitherto been observed so doing in the Himalayas, where it is not common. It has not been recorded from Pegu, Tenasserim, Ceylon, or the southern portion of India, the most southern locality known being the northern part of the Coimbatore district, but it is common in the Deccan, Central Provinces, and Chutia Nagpur; Hume found it in great abundance in Manipur, and it has recently been met with near Mandalay in the Irrawaddy valley. Throughout the Indo-Gangetic plain it occurs, but in no great abundance.
Habits, &c. The Tufted Duck arrives in India in October or November and leaves, generally about March, but some birds remain longer, and Jerdon relates having shot one at Hyderabad (Deccan) in June. Birds of this species in India are generally found in small scattered parties or singly, occasionally in large flocks, on open sheets of water in the middle of tanks or jheels. They dive very well and both swim and fly rapidly. Their food appears to be largely animal, though of course they feed partly on vegetables, and they afford as a rule indifferent food. They are not known to breed within Indian limits.