1590. Dendrocycna fulva.
The Large Whistling Teal.
Anas fulva, Gmel. Syst. Nat. i, p. 530 (1788). Dendrocygna major, Jerdon, Madr. Jour. L. S. xii, p. 218 (1840); id. Ill. Ind. Orn. pl. 23 ; Blyth, Cat. p. 301 ; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 790; Sclater, P. Z. S. 1864, p. 300; 1866, p. 148: Blyth, Ibis, 1865, p. 39; 1867, p. 175; Hume, N. & E. p. 640; James, S. F. i, p. 421; Hume & Oates, S. F. iii, p. 193; Fairbank, S. F. iv, p. 264 ; Butler, S. F. v, p. 328. Dendrocygna fulva, Blyth, Ibis, 1870, p. 176 ; Sclat. & Salv. P. Z. S. 1876, p. 372 ; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 488; Dav. & Wend. S. F. vii, p. 92; Hume, ibid. p. 492; id. Cat. no. 953 ; Hume & Marsh. Game B. iii, p. 119, pl.; Butler, S. F. ix, p. 437; Parker, ibid. p. 487 ; Reid, S. F. x, p. 80; Eden, ibid. p. 164: Taylor, ibid. pp. 528, 531 ; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 274; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 399; id. Jour. Bom. N. H. Soc. vi, p. 289; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 342; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 286. Dendrocycna fulva, Sclater, P. Z. S. 1880, p. 509; Salvadori, Cat.. B. M. xxvii, p. 149.
Coloration. Forehead and crown brownish ferruginous, passing on the nape into a black stripe that extends down the hind neck, and on the sides into the dull light brown with pale shaft-stripes of the rest of the head and upper neck ; short feathers in front and at sides of middle neck white with dark brown edges and bases ; back, scapulars, rump, and tail black, the feathers of the upper back and scapulars with broad pale transverse rufous ends ; median and some of the smaller wing-coverts dark chestnut, remainder of the wings above and below black ; lower neck and uuderparts rufous ochraceous, passing into cinnamon, especially on the flanks, where the longer feathers are whitish with dark brown lateral edges; vent and upper and lower tail-coverts whitish.
Bill plumbeous ; irides brown ; orbits pale livid ; legs and feet dark plumbeous (Jerdon).
Length 20; tail 2; wing 9; tarsus 2.25; bill from gape 2.4. The females are rather smaller.
Distribution. The larger Whistling Teal is not a common bird anywhere, but may be found at times throughout India south of the Himalayas. It has been observed in Ceylon by Parker, and by Oates and Wardlaw Ramsay in Pegu and Toungoo. It is, however, very rare in the Madras Presidency and the Deccan, and is perhaps commonest in Lower Bengal. To the westward it is found in Sind. This species has not been recorded elsewhere in Asia, but it has a remarkable range, being found in Africa south of the Sahara, Madagascar, and Central and South America.
Habits, &c. Similar to those of D. javanica, except that the flight is stronger and more rapid; the present species occurs in small flocks and often perches on trees. Very little is known of the nidification, which is believed to be the same as that of the smaller species. Eggs measure about 2.18 by 1.7. As an article of food this Whistling Teal is said to be better than its smaller relative.