871. Surf Scoter.
OEdemia perspicillata (Linn.), Syst. Nat. i. p.201 (1766) ; (Naum.), xii. p. 140, Taf. 314 ; Gould, B. of E. v. pl. 376 ; id. B. of Gt. Brit. v. pl. 30 ; Dresser, vi. p. 669, pl. 450 ; (Audub.), B. Am. vi. p. 337, pl. 402 ; Salvadori, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxvii. p. 412 ; Tacz. F. O. Sib. O. p. 1188 ; Bidgway, p. 113 ; Saunders, p. 469 ; Lilford, vii. p. 135, pl. 57.
Male ad. (New Brunswick). Entire plumage velvety black ; a large patch on the crown, and a large triangular one on the nape pure white ; upper mandible bulged into a large lump on each side of the base, and raised centrally nearly to the tooth ; space round the nostrils rich red, becoming orange-yellow on the sides ; space before and behind this band pure white ; tooth pale yellow ; a large black patch on each side of the bill, the space between this patch and the feathers orange-yellow and vermilion- red ; legs dull pinkish red ; iris white. Gape 2.5, wing 9.6, tail 3.6, tarsus 1.8 inch. The female has the crown blackish brown, the sides of head and neck dull brown ; on the nape a triangular whitish patch marked with blackish brown ; a brownish white patch in front of the eye, and another behind the chin ; plumage otherwise dark brown, the upper parts darker and with narrow paler margins ; bill less swollen than in the male and blackish plumbeous ; legs warm olivaceous ; iris greyish.
Hab. Northern America, breeding in the Arctic regions and in winter migrating south to Jamaica, the Carolinas, Ohio River, and Lower California ; of accidental occurrence in Britain, Scandinavia, the northern coasts of continental Europe and those of North-eastern Asia.
In general habits it resembles the Velvet Scoter, and like that species obtains its food chiefly by diving. It breeds in Arctic America, its nest being a hollow in the ground, lined with weeds and the dark down of the bird, and the eggs, 6 to 8 in number, resemble those of O. fusca, but measure 2.45 by 1.75.
871. Oedemia perspicillata
871. Surf Scoter.