A large patch on the lore, spot on the ears, longitudinal band on the sides of the neck, collar, and pectoral fascia on each side, white: speculum blue: legs dusky.
C. histrionica, Steph. in Shaws Gen. Zool. vol. xii. part ii. p. 180. pl. 57. Anas histrionica, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. II. p. 878. Sow. Brit. Misc. pl. 6. Harlequin Duck, Mont. Orn. Diet. Harlequin Garrot, Selb. Must. vol. ii. p. 371. pl. 60.
Entire length seventeen inches: length of the bill one inch six lines. Mont.
(Male). Head and neck black, glossed with violet: a large patch between the bill and the eye, a spot behind the eyes, a longitudinal band on the sides of the neck, collar lower down, a broad crescent-shaped fascia on the sides of the breast, and part of the scapulars, all pure white: lower part of the neck, and breast, bluish ash; flanks ferruginous; belly brown: back, wings, and rump, glossy black, with blue and violet reflections: speculum on the wing very deep violet: bill black: irides brown: legs, and membranes of the toes, dusky blue. Temm. (Female). Smaller: all the upper plumage deep brown, clouded with ash-colour: towards the forehead, and a little before the eyes, a small white spot; a large patch of the same colour on the orifice of the ears: throat whitish; breast and belly whitish, clouded and spotted with brown; flanks reddish brown. Temm. (Egg). White, tinged with buff-colour: long. diam. two inches two lines; trans, diam. one inch seven lines.
A very rare occasional winter visitant. A pair, male and female, killed some years back in the north of Scotland, were in the collection of the late Mr James Sowerby. A young female has also been shot in one of the Orkney Islands. According to Messrs. C. and J. Paget*, it has also been obtained in one instance in the market at Yarmouth. Common in the northern parts of Europe and America. Said to breed on the borders of waters, amongst shrubs and herbage, and to lay from ten to twelve eggs. Food, shell-fish and insects. Obs. The Anas minuta of Linnaeus is the female of this species.
Faun. Bor. Amer. part ii. p. 458. Anas albeola, Wils. Amer. Orn. vol. viii. p. 51. pl. 67. f. 2 & 3. Don. Brit. Birds, vol. x. pl. 226.
Inserted as British by Donovan in his "British Birds," but without any authority being given. A common species in North America.
* Nat. Hist. of Yarm. p. 12.