865. Cosmonetta histrionica

865. Harlequin Duck.
Cosmonetta histrionica (Linn.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 204 (1766) ; (Naum.), xii. p. 199, Taf. 318 ; (Hewitson), ii. p. 433, pl. cxviii. fig. 2 ; (Gould), B. of E. v. pl. 381 ; Dresser, vi. p. 609, pl. 442 ; (Audub.), B. Am. vi. p. 374, pl. 409 ; Salvadori, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxvii. p. 395 ; Tacz. F. O. Sib. O. p. 1176 ; (Ridgway), p. 107 ; Saunders, p. 457 ; Lil¬ford, vii. p. 121, pl. 51 ; Clangula torquata, Brehm, Vogelfang, p. 385 (1855) ; (Gould), B. of Gt. Brit. v. pl. 32.
Canard histrion, French ; Kragenente, German ; Tornauiarsuk, Greenl. ; Straumond, Icel. ; Stromand. Dan. and Swed. ; Tschernaya-polossataya-Ootka, Russ. ; Shinori-gamo, Jap.
Male ad. (Greenland). A large patch in front of the eye, and a spot on the ear-coverts white ; a broad stripe through the middle of the crown to the nape black, bordered with white ; from above each eye to the nape a broad rusty-red stripe ; rest of head and neck blackish blue, marked with a long white stripe on each side of the neck ; breast, back, and lesser wing- coverts deep dull blue ; wings, tail, and rump black, the inner secondaries and scapulars marked with white ; speculum glossy purple ; on the lower neck an interrupted white collar, and another in front of the wing ; under parts brown, tinged with blue-grey ; flanks chestnut-red ; under tail-coverts black, with a white spot on each side ; bill deep lead-blue, the nail lighter ; legs brown ; iris dark brown. Culmen 1.3, wing 8.0, tail 4.25, tarsus 1.4 inch. The female is greyish brown, paler below ; forehead and at the base of the bill brownish white ; a white patch in front of the eye, and one on the ear-coverts ; breast and abdomen closely marked with white. In the late summer the male has the plumage much duller, the speculum dusky brownish grey, with a slight metallic glos3 ; under parts greyish white, spotted with greyish brown, the flanks and under tail-coverts nearly uniform greyish brown.
Hab. Greenland, Iceland ; of rare occurrence in Great Britain and continental Europe ; Eastern Siberia and Kamchatka, visiting Japan in winter ; Northern North America, migrating in winter south to the Middle United States, the Ohio valley, and the coasts of California.
Like its allies it is an expert diver and can remain a con¬siderable time below the surface. It flies swiftly, usually not high above the surface of the water, and if alarmed will dive at once from the air into the water. In winter it feeds on small mollusca which it obtains by diving, but in summer chiefly on aquatic insects and their larvae. Its nest is placed on the ground close to some swift-flowing stream, and is most carefully concealed. The eggs 8 to 10 in number, are usually deposited in June or early in July, and are rich cream-coloured, smooth in texture of shell, and measure about 2.82 by 1.45.

A Manual Of Palaearctic Birds
Dresser, Henry Eeles. A Manual of Palaearctic Birds. Vol. 2. 1903.
Title in Book: 
865. Cosmonetta histrionica
Book Author: 
H. E. Dresser
Page No: 
Common name: 
Harlequin Duck
Harlequin Duck
Histrionicus histrionicus
Vol. 2

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