1606. Nyroca ferruginea.
The White-eyed Duck.
Anas nyroca, Guldenst. Nov. Com. Petrop. xiv, pt. 1, p. 403 (1770). Anas africana & A. ferruginea, Gm. Syst. Nat. i, 2, pp. 522, 528 (1788). Anas leucophthalmus, Borkhausen, Deutsche Fauna, i, p. 564 (1798), Aythya nyroca, Boie, Isis, 1822, p. 564; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 813; Hume Henders. Lah. to Yark. p. 297 ; Hume, N. B. p. 645; Lloyd, Ibis, 1873, p. 420; Hume, S. F. i, p. 265; Adam, ibid. p. 402 ; Butler, S. F. iv, p. 30; v, p. 234; Davids. Wend. S. F. vii, p. 93; Ball, ibid. p. 232. Fuligula nyroca, Steph. in Shaw's Gen. Zool. xii, pt. 2, p. 201, pl. 55 (1824); Blyth, Cat. p. 307 ; Adams, P. Z. S. 1858, p. 510; Blyth, Birds Burm. p. 166; Hume, S. F. vii, p. 493; id. Cat. no. 969; Scully, S.F. viii, p. 363; Hume & Marsh. Game B. iii, p. 263, pi. & pl.iv(egg); Biddulph,Ibis, 1881, p. 100; Scully, ibid. p. 593 ; Vidal, S. F. ix, p. 93; Hume, ibid. p. 259; Butler, ibid. p. 439; Reid, S. F. x, p. 84; Davidson, ibid. p. 326 ; Taylor, ibid. pp. 528, 531; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 287 ; id. in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 292 ; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 413; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 347. Nyroca ferruginea, Sharpe Dresser, B. Fur. vi, p. 581, pl. 438; Swinh. & Barnes, Ibis, 1885, p. 138; St. John, Ibis, 1889, p. 180; Sharpe, Yark. Miss., Aves, p. 132. Nyroca africana, Salvadori, Cat. B. M. xxvii, p. 345.
Karchiya, Burar-mada, H.; Lal-bigri, Bhuti-hans, Beng.; Burnu, Sind; Malac, Nepal Terai.
Coloration. Male. Head, neck and breast, and sides of breast dull chestnut, a white spot on chin, and a blackish-brown collar round lower neck, joining the upper back; upper plumage generally blackish brown; back and scapulars minutely speckled with rufous-brown ; tail dark brown ; outer primaries dark brown,, with an increasing amount of white on the basal portion of the inner web: inner primaries and secondaries white, each with a broad brown tip; tertiaries blackish brown, slightly glossed with green; wing-coverts on edge of wing white; other wing-coverts dark brown; abdomen white; sides of body reddish brown; lower flanks blackish; lower abdomen more or less brown ; under tail-coverts white.
Female similar but much duller, the head and neck reddish brown ; upper plumage brown ; the reddish brown on the breast is mixed with white, and passes into the sullied white area of the belly instead of, as in the male, ending abruptly against it.
Young birds have the head and neck ochreous brown, darker above ; otherwise like the female, but paler.
Bill bluish black; irides white; legs and feet plumbeous or dusky grey; claws and webs dusky to black.
Length 16 ; tail 2.2; wing 7.25; tarsus 1.2 ; bill from gape 2. Females a little less.
Distribution. The Mediterranean area, Central and Eastern Europe, and South-western Asia, breeding as far east as Kashmir, where this species is a permanent resident. It is, however, only a winter visitor, so far as is known, to the plains of India; it is common at that season throughout Northern India, as far east as. Bengal; less abundant, but still far from rare, in Northern Burma, Assam, Manipur, Central India, the Central Provinces, and the Bombay Presidency ; of occasional occurrence only about Ratnagiri, and not recorded from Southern India or Ceylon.
Habits, &c. Generally in Northern India the White-eyed Duck arrives about the end of October and leaves in March; but some birds are said to remain later in Sind, and may possibly breed there. This Pochard is generally met with in scattered small parties, or singly, dispersed over weedy and rushy pieces of water of all sizes, and it rises, when disturbed, in twos or threes, not in flocks. In places it is met with on the sea-coast. It is a splendid diver, and a wounded bird is very difficult to capture. Practically omnivorous, like most ducks, it appears to feed to a considerable extent on insects and their larvae, Crustacea and mollusca, and its flesh in India is of very inferior flavour. The call somewhat resembles that of the Pochard. These ducks breed abundantly in the Kashmir lakes in June, and lay 9 or 10 eggs in a nest of dry rushes placed amongst thick reeds or water-plants, close to the water. The eggs have a faint brownish tinge, and measure about 2.1 by 1.49.