869. BLACK SCOTER.
OEdemia nigra (Linn.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 196 (1766) ; (Naum.), xii. p. 108, Taf. 312 ; Gould, B. of E. v. pl. 378 ; id. B. of Gt. Brit. v. pl. 28 ; Hewitson, ii. p. 421, pl. cxvi. fig. 1 ; Dresser, vi. p. 663, pl. 449 ; Salvadori, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxvii. p. 401 ; Tacz. F. O. Sib. O. p. 1189 ; Saunders, p. 465 ; Lilford, vii. p. 129, pl. 55.
Macrcuse, French ; Orchetto marino, Ital. ; Pato negro, Span. ; Negrolla, Portug. ; Trauer-Ente, German ; Zwarte-Zeeeend, Dutch ; Hrafnsond, Icel. ; Sort-and, Dan. ; Svart-and, Norweg. ; Sjoorre, Swed. ; Njurkku, Lapp. ; Merilintu, Finn. ; Chernaya-ootka, Russ.
Male ad. (Spain). Entire plumage deep black, the head and neck glossed with purplish, the upper parts with greenish steel-blue ; under parts duller and tinged with brown ; bill with a large bulb at the base of the upper mandible, a line through which, and a large patch in front are orange-yellow ; rest of bill bluish black ; legs dark olivaceous ; iris dark brown. Gape 2.4, wing 9.5, tail 4.1, tarsus 1.8 inch. The female is dull dark brown, the upper parts with paler margins ; sides of the head greyish black ; chin and upper throat white ; middle of abdomen white marked with brown ; bill only slightly swollen at the base of the upper mandible and dull bluish black throughout ; legs dull olivaceous.
Hab. Northern Europe, north to Lapland and Iceland ; in winter ranging south to the Mediterranean and North Africa ; Asia, east to the Taimyr Peninsula.
In the summer it frequents inland waters, but in winter it is essentially a marine species. It flies low but swiftly, and is an excellent diver, like its allies, obtaining its food chiefly by diving. Its call-note in winter is harsh, but in the nesting season the male utters a series of loud flute-like notes, tu, tu, tu, tu, which is answered by the female with a harsh re, re, re, re, re. Its nest is a mere hollow in the ground, usually under a bush, well lined with grass, moss, and down, and the eggs, 8 to 9 in number, are usually deposited about the middle of June, and are creamy white, smooth in texture of shell, and measure about 2.35 by 1.80.
869. Oedemia nigra
869. BLACK SCOTER.