867. Velvet Scoter.
OEdemia fusca (Linn.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 196 (1766) ; (Naum.) xii. p. 123 Taf. 313 ; (Hewitson), ii. p. 419, pl. cxvi. fig. 2 ; Gould, B. of E. v. pl. 377 ; id. B. of Gt. Brit. v. pl. 29 ; Dresser, vi. p. 657, pl. 448 Salvadori, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxvii. p. 406 ; Tacz. E. O. Sib. O. p. 1183 ; Seebohm, B. Jap. Emp. p. 250 ; Saunders, p. 467 ; Lilford, vii. p. 133, pl. 56.
Grande, Macreuse, French ; Orcho-marino, Ital. ; Sammetente, German ; Groote Zeeeend, Dutch ; Floielsand, Dan. ; Sjo-orre, Norweg ; Svarta, Swed. ; Skoarra, Lapp. ; Pilkasiipi, Finn. ; Kuro-tori, Jap.
Male ad. (Sweden). Entire plumage deep glossy black, the under parts rather duller a small patch below the eye and the speculum white ; bill broad, swollen over the nostrils, this portion and the margin of the bill black, the rest orange-yellow ; legs pinkish red ; iris brown. Gape 2.6, wing 10.7, tail 3.5, tarsus 1.8 inch. The female has the head, neck, and upper parts blackish brown, the latter with pale margins ; under parts brighter brown marked with dull white ; a large dull white patch in front of and a smaller one behind the eye ; bill blackish plumbeous, less swollen than in the male.
Hab. Northern Europe north to Lapland ; not found in Iceland, and only once in Greenland ; in winter migrating south to the Mediterranean and Caspian ; North Asia east to the Yenesei, and also recorded from eastern Siberia and Japan ; but these references may possibly apply to O. deglandi, a very closely allied, scarcely differing form, which inhabits North America, or to O. carbo.
Frequents the sea-coasts in winter, only resorting to fresh¬water lakes and ponds during the nesting season. It swims with ease and is an excellent diver, but on land it is clumsy and heavy. Its food consists of bivalve mollusca in winter, and of aquatic insects, worms, &c., in the summer. Its nest may be either near to, or at some distance from water, and is a depression in the soil under a bush, lined with down inter¬matted with grass and a few leaves. The eggs, 8 to 10 in number, are usually deposited late in June or early in July, and are uniform ivory-white with a creamy buff tinge, and measure about 2.75 by 1.95.
867. Oedemia fusca
867. Velvet Scoter.