Sarcidiornis melanonotus, Penn.
950. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. II, p. 785 ; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. IV, p. 27 ; Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 436; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 286 ; Game Birds of India, Vol. III, p. 91; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India; Ibis, 1885, p. 136.
THE BLACK-BACKED GOOSE, OR COMB DUCK.
Length, 31.5, 26.4; expanse, 55, 46 ; wing, 15.37, 11.3; tail, 6.5, 4; tarsus, 2.87, 2.2; bill from gape, 2.8, 2.21; weight, 5 3/4 lbs, 3 lbs.
Bill and comb black; irides dark brown; legs greenish-plumbeous.
Head and neck white, spotted with glossy black; the top of the head and back of the neck mostly black; interscapulars and scapulars black, glossed with purple; back ashy-grey, becoming dusky on the rump ; the upper tail-coverts glossy-green ; wing-coverts glossed green; quills black ; tail black; all the lower parts pure white. The female is much smaller, less brightly colored, more spotted on the neck, and she wants the fleshy boss at the base of the bill.
The Nukta or Comb Duck is more or less generally spread throughout the district. In Sind it is a mere straggler, and in the Deccan it is a far from common seasonal visitant, but in Guzerat, Central India, and Rajputana it is a permanent resident, breeding towards the end of the rains, in holes in trees. The eggs, usually twelve in number, (Mr. Anderson speaks of finding forty in a nest) are oval in shape, and are close and compact in texture, and resemble polished ivory both in color and appearance.
They measure 2.3 by 1.7.