1608. Nyroca marila

1608. Nyroca marila.

The Scaup.

Anas marila, Linn. Syst. Nat. i, p. 196 (1766). Fuligula marila, Steph. in Shato's Gen. Zool. xii, pt. 2, p. 198 (1824) ; G. B. Gray, Cat. Mamm. &c. Coll. Hodgson, p. 147; Blyth, Cat. p. 306; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 814 ; Hume, Cat. no. 970; Hume & Marsh. Game B. iii, p. 271, pl.; Hume, S. F. x, pp. 158, 174 ; Stoker, ibid. p. 424; Murray, Vert. Zool. Sind, p. 305; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 413 ; Salvadori, Cat. B. M. xxvii, p. 355.

Coloration. Male in breeding-plumage. Head, neck, breast,, and upper back black, the head and neck glossed with green; rest of back and scapulars white with narrow zigzag black bars ;: rump and upper tail-coverts black; tail blackish ; wing-coverts' brownish black, speckled and vermiculated with white; quills brownish black, inner webs of primaries except at the tip brownish grey, secondaries white with brown tips, tertiaries glossed with green; abdomen and flanks white, lower abdomen much mixed or vermiculated with dark brown; vent and under tail-coverts blackish brown.

Males in moulting-plumage closely resemble females. Immature males have white at the base of the bill like females, but are-darker in colour than the latter.

Female. Forehead, lores, and more or less of the chin white, encircling the base of the bill; rest of head, neck, upper back, and upper breast brown, the last mixed with white and passing into the white of the abdomen, not sharply defined as in the male -r back and scapulars vermiculated brown and white, flanks the same but with more white; rump, upper tail-coverts, and tail dark brown; wings as in the male but duller and browner. Young birds are browner still.

Bill and legs light lead-grey; webs and nail of the bill blackish; irides yellow (Salvadori).

Length of male about 18; tail 2.2; wing 9; tarsus 1.5; bill from gape 2.1. Females slightly less.

Distribution. The Scaup is a very rare winter visitor to India. Isolated occurrences have been recorded from Kashmir, Kulu and Nepal in the Himalayas, and the neighbourhood of Attock Gurgaon near Delhi, and Karachi in the plains of India, and even Bombay (Jour. Bom. N. H. Soc. ii, p. 97). Col. McMaster is of opinion that he saw several birds of this species near Berhampore in the Northern Circars. The Scaup is chiefly a bird of the north temperate zone, breeding in Europe, Asia, and America as far north as lat. 70°, and visiting in winter the shores of Western Europe, the British Islands, the Mediterranean sparingly, the Black Sea, Caspian, China, and Japan, and corresponding latitudes in North America.

Habits, &c. The Scaup, Scaup-Duck, or Scaup-Pochard derives its name from feeding on mussels (Mussel-scaups or Mussel-scalps are the beds on which mussels are aggregated, see Newton, Diet. Birds, p. 815). In Europe it is chiefly a salt-water bird, seldom found inland except at the breeding-season.

The Fauna Of British India, Including Ceylon And Burma-birds
Blanford, William Thomas, ed. The Fauna of British India: Including Ceylon and Burma. Vol. 4. 1898.
Title in Book: 
1608. Nyroca marila
Book Author: 
William Thomas Blanford
Page No: 
Common name: 
Greater Scaup
Aythya marila
Vol. 4
Term name: 

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