877. Erismatura leucocephala

877. White-headed Duck.
Erismatura leucocephala (Scop.), Ann. i. Hist. Nat. p. 65 (1769) ; (Gould), B. of E. v. pl. 383 : Dresser, vi. p. 677, pl. 451 ; Salvadori, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxvii. p. 442 ; Blanf. F. Brit. Ind. Birds, iv. p. 466 ; E. mersa, Bp. Comp. List. p. 59 (1838) ; (Naum.), xii. p. 149, Taf. 315.
Canard couronne, French ; Pato-tarro, Span. ; Gobbo rugginoso, Ital. ; Ruderente, German ; Savka, Russ.
Male ad. (Transylvania). Crown black ; forehead, sides of head to above the eye, chin, and nape pure white ; neck black dotted with buffy brown ; lower neck to upper breast, and upper back chestnut-red, the two former delicately barred with black ; back, scapulars, and rump warm ochreous buff, the last darker, and all vermiculated with blackish grey ; secondaries and larger wing-coverts similar but more greyish buff ; lesser coverts dull ashy and slightly vermiculated ; tail blackish, long and stiff ; under parts below the breast buffy white, obscurely marked with reddish brown ; flanks dull chestnut-brown tinged with buff, vermiculated with dark brown ; bill pale ultramarine, and much swollen at the base ; legs blackish plumbeous ; iris dark brown. Culmen 1.9, gape 1.82, wing 6.3, tail 4.3, tarsus 1.35 inch. The female is more rufous in colour ; chin, lower cheeks, and a stripe running under the eye towards the nape white ; rest of head blackish tinged with rufous ; upper parts and breast lacking the blackish bars ; beak dull plumbeous ; otherwise like the male.
Hab. Southern Europe, accidental in Germany and Northern France ; Northern Africa ; Central Asia east to Turkestan, south in winter to India.
Appears to affect fresh water and brackish lagoons in prefer┬Čence to the sea, and usually when alarmed seeks safety by diving in preference to taking wing. It breeds amongst the reeds and aquatic plants, depositing in June 7 to 9 eggs, dull white in colour, very coarse in texture of shell, and measuring about 2.75 by 1.95.

A Manual Of Palaearctic Birds
Dresser, Henry Eeles. A Manual of Palaearctic Birds. Vol. 2. 1903.
Title in Book: 
877. Erismatura leucocephala
Book Author: 
H. E. Dresser
Page No: 
Common name: 
White Headed Duck
White-headed Duck
Oxyura leucocephala
Vol. 2

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