1584. Sarcidiornis melanonotus.
The Comb Thick or Nukta. (Fig. 101, p. 411.)
Anser melanotus, Perm. Faunula Indica, p. 12, pi. xii (1769); Newton, S. F, viii, p. 415. Sarcidiornis melanotus, Blyth, Cat. p. 302; Barnes, Jour. Bom. N. H. Soc. vi, p. 286. Sarkidiornis melanonotus, Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 785; A. Anderson, Ibis, 1874, p. 220; Adam, S. F. i, p. 401; Butler & Hume, S. F. iv, p. 27; Ball, S. F. vii, p. 231; Hume, ibid. p. 507; Butler, S. F. viii, p. 387. Sarcidiornis melanonotus, Blyth, Ibis, 1867, p. 175; Hume, S. F. vii, p. 491; id. Cat. no. 950 ; Hume & Marsh. Game B. iii, p. 91,. pl.; Butler, S. F. ix, p. 436; Parker, ibid. p. 486 ; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 1063 ; Reid, S. F. x, p. 79 ; Hume, ibid. p. 417; Taylor, ibid. pp, 528, 531; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 396; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 343;. Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 282. Sarcidiornis melanonota, Sclat. P. Z. S. 1876, p. 694, pl. lxvii; Oales, B. B. ii, p. 275; Salvadori, Cat. B. M. xxvii, p. 54 ; Baker, Jour. Bom. N. H. Soc. xi, p. 172.
The Black-backed Goose, Jerdon. Nukta, H.; Nakwa, Chutia Nagpur; Naki hdnsa, Uriya; Jatu chil-luwa, Tel.; Dod sarle haki, Can.; Neer koli, Coimbatore ; Tau-bai, Burm.; Bowkbang, Karen.
Coloration. Male. Head and neck white, spotted with glossy black, the black prevailing on the crown and a band along the hind neck: lower neck all round, breast, abdomen, and lower tail-coverts pure white; upper back, scapulars, wings, rump, upper tail-coverts, and tail black, the secondaries and their greater coverts glossed with bronze-green, the scapulars with purple, the other-parts with green and purplish blue ; lower back brownish grey, sides of breast and flanks pale ashy grey ; a black bar from the upper back to each side of the upper breast, and another from the rump to the lower flanks.
Female much smaller, but similarly coloured, with less gloss on the back and wings and more black on the head and neck.
Younger birds are brown instead of black, and the lower parts-are tinged with rusty red.
Iris brown; bill and comb black; legs and feet very dark brown (Oates), greenish plumbeous (Jerdon).
Length of male about 30 ; tail 5.5 ; wing 15 ; tarsus 2.75 ; bill from gape 2.7. Female : length 26 ; tail 4.5 ; wing 11.25 ;. tarsus 2.1 ; bill from gape 2.2.
Distribution. India, Ceylon, and Burma in suitable localities , also Africa south of the Sahara, and Madagascar. Common in well-wooded and well-watered parts of the country, rare or wanting in India south of Mysore, in the Bombay Deccan, the desert tracts, Sind and the Western Punjab, also in Tenasserim.
Habits, &c. The Nukta is generally found about large marshy tanks and jheels with reedy margins in well-wooded countries. It keeps in small flocks of 4 to 10 throughout the cold season and in pairs at other times. Larger flocks are said to occur, but they are not often seen. It breeds on trees, and frequently perches on them. The nest consists of a few sticks with dead leaves, grass, feathers &c., placed in a hole in the stem or a depression between the larger branches. The eggs, laid in July, August or September, are ivory-white, very close-textured, 7 to 12 in number, and they measure about 2.41 by 1.72. In Ceylon this Duck is said to breed in February and March. This is not one of the best ducks for the table, though good at times.