840. RUDDY SHELDRAKE.
Tadorna casarca (Linn.), Syst. Nat. iii. App. p. 224 (1768) ; Dresser, vi. p. 461, pl. 421 ; Saunders, p. 421 ; Lilford, vii. p. 81, pl. 31 ; T. rutila, Pall. Nov. Comm. Petrop, xiv. p. 579, Taf. 22, fig. 1 ; Naum. xi. p. 564, Taf. 299 ; Gould, B. of E. v. pl. 358 ; (id.), B. of Gt. Brit. v. pl. 12 ; Seebohm, B. Jap. Emp. p. 241 ; (Blanf.), F. Brit. Ind. Birds, iv. p. 428 ; (Salvadori), Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxvii. p. 117 ; (Tacz.), P. O. Sib. O. p. 1121.
Tadorne casarca, French ; Pata tarro, Span. ; Rostente, German ; Turpan, Russ. ; Kermesi-Erdek, Turk. ; Bou-ha, Moor. ; Wuz Abu-Faroa, Arab. ; Chakwa male, Chakwi female, Hindu.
Male ad. (S. Russia). Head creamy yellow, becoming yellowish red on the neck, which is encircled below by a black ring ; lower neck, back, breast, and under parts rich fox-red, paler on the flanks and scapulars ; quills, tail, and tail-coverts black ; rump yellowish red vermiculated with black ; secondaries glossed with green and purple on the outer web ; inner secondaries yellowish red tinged with ashy grey on the inner webs ; wing- coverts white ; bill and legs blackish ; iris brown. Culmen 1.75, wing 14.0, tail 5.5, tarsus 2.5 inch. The female lacks the black collar and is whiter on the head, and the young bird resembles the female but is duller, the inner secondaries and scapulars are brown marked with yellowish red, and the white on the wing coverts is soiled with grey.
Hab. Southern and south-eastern Europe, rare in the west ; of accidental occurrence in Britain, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany, etc ; North Africa ; Asia east through central Asia, Tibet, Mongolia, and Manchuria, to China, Corea, and Japan, north to Lake Baikal, south in winter to India, Burma, and Formosa.
In habits it is said to resemble the Geese more than the true Ducks, walks with ease like these, and grazes in the cornfields on tender shoots, feeding also on seeds, frogs, worms, and to some extent, is is said, on fish. Unless where unmolested, it is shy and wary. Its note is a peculiar clanging bisyllabic cry frequently uttered. It breeds, often far from the sea, in holes and clefts of the rocks, hollow trees and deserted nests of birds of prey, depositing about the end of May, 12 to 16 eggs which are well bedded in down and resemble those of T. cornuta, but are as a rule a trifle smaller.
840. Tadorna casarca
840. RUDDY SHELDRAKE.