Bill long, and somewhat depressed; orange, the base and nail black: legs orange: wings extending beyond the extremity of the tail.
Anas Segetum, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. II. p. 820. Bean Goose, Mont. Orn. Diet, & Supp. Selb. Illust. vol. 11. p. 263. pl. 42.
Entire length two feet six inches: length of the tarsus three inches three lines; from the carpus to the end of the wing eighteen inches six lines.
* Orn. Diet. vol. 1. Art. Goose-Gray-Lag.
Head, and upper part of the neck, dark cinereous brown, the feathers of the latter having a furrowed appearance; lower part of the neck, breast and belly, ash-gray, clouded with shades of a deeper tint: back, scapulars and wing-coverts, deep clove-brown, the feathers edged with whitish: quills dark gray, passing into black at the tips; the shafts white: rump blackish brown: tail dusky, tipped with white: vent, and under tail-coverts, pure white: bill black at the base and on the nail, the middle part orange-red: irides deep brown: legs orange. Obs. This species is subject to some little variation of plumage: the brown tint on the upper parts prevails over the ash-colour, or the ash-colour over the brown: the secondary quills are also sometimes edged and tipped with white: occasionally, though very rarely, the nail of the bill is white, in which case it becomes extremely difficult to distinguish it from the last species, which at all times it closely resembles; it is however smaller than the A.ferus, and the wings when closed extend nearly half an inch beyond the tip of the tail. (Egg). Dull yellowish white: long, diam. three inches five lines; trans, diam. two inches five lines.
Much more plentiful than the last species. Visits this country in large flocks at the approach of Winter, resorting to fens, and also to upland corn-fields for the sake of the green wheat. Clamorous in its flight, which, when the flock is numerous, generally assumes a figured form. Retires in May to more northern latitudes to breed. Said to make a nest in marshes, amongst the coarse herbage, and to lay from ten to twelve eggs.