Nettapus coromandelianus, Gm.
951. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. II, p. 786; Butler, Deccan Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 436; Guzerat, Stray Feathers, Vol. IV, p. 27 ; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India; Ibis, 1885, p. 137.
THE COTTON TEAL.
Length, 12.62 to 13.5; expanse, 20.5 to 24; wing, 6.25 to 6.75; tail, 2.82 to 3.25; tarsus, 1; bill, 1 to 1.25 ;weight, 8 to 11 ozs.
Length, 12.5 to 12.75; expanse, 21 to 22 ; wing, 6.25 to 6.37 ; tail, 2.8 to 3; bill from gape, 1 to 1.2 ; weight, 6.2 to 9 ozs.
Bill black; irides crimson; legs and feet from light yellowish to dirty sap-green.
Top of the head black; back, scapulars and wings richly glossed with purple and green, the purple prevailing on the back and scapulars; the wing-coverts and base of the quills green ; rump blackish in the middle, white at the sides ; upper tail-coverts cinereous brown with pale mottlings; tail blackish-brown; primary quills with a large white patch tipped with black on their terminal half, the white gradually diminishing in extent; the secondaries only tipped with white; tertials pure black, glossed green externally, purplish within ; face, back of head, and whole neck and under parts pure white, with a black collar round the lower part of the neck; flanks white, with fine zig-zag brown lines; vent and under tail-coverts mottled, dusky and white.
The female is duller and more brown, above faintly glossed; the primaries want the white patch; the sides of the rump and upper tail-coverts are pale brown ; the top of the head is dusky, and there is a dark stripe through the eyes ; the neck is mottled with dusky lines, the under parts are dirty white, the flanks pale brown, and under tail-coverts whitish.
This miniature Goose is not uncommon in suitable localities (weed-grown tanks and jheels) in the Deccan; it is far more common in Central India and parts of Rajputana, but I cannot find any record of its occurrence in Guzerat, neither does it occur in Sind.
It is a permanent resident, breeding in July and August.
The eggs, ten or twelve in number, are generally placed in holes in trees; they are oval in shape, of a delicate ivory-white color, and measure 1.7 inches in length by about 1.29 in breadth.