Fuligula rufina, Pallas.
967. :- Branta rufina, Pall. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. II, p. 811 ; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. IV, p. 30 ; Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 438 ; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 313 ; Game Birds of India, Vol. III, p. 253.
THE RED-CRESTED POCHARD.
Length, 20.1 to 22.1; expanse, 33.75 to 38.2 ; wing, 9.6 to 10.75 ; tail, 3.0 to 4.2 ; tarsus, 1.5 to 1.75 ; bill from gape, 2.25 to 2.42 ; weight, 1 10/16 to 2 14/16 lbs.
Rill bright, vermilion-red; nail brownish-white; irides vary from brown to red ; legs from dingy salmon color to orange-red.
Male: head, cheeks, throat, and the upper part of the neck reddish-bay; the feathers on the crown elongated, and of a silky texture, "forming a crest somewhat paler than the rest of the head ; back, wings, and tail, yellowish-brown; the band of the wing, a large spot on the sides of the back, the speculum, and the base "of the primary quills, white ; lower' part of the" neck, breast, and abdomen, deep black ; the flanks white.
The female has the upper parts pale yellowish brown, darker on the head and neck, and the crest less developed; speculum half greyish-white; half pale brown ; base of the quills white, tinged with brown ; breast and flanks yellowish-brown; belly grey; bill and feet reddish-brown.
The Red-crested Pochard is common in Sind, less so in Guzerat and Rajputana, and rare in the Deccan. It affects only the larger tanks and jheels, keeping in the middle ; it is a very wary bird, taking wing at the first sign of danger, and flying up and down well out of shot, and is consequently not often found in the sportsman's bag. In tanks and jheels not much shot over ; of course, it is much less wary.