Black; a white speculum on the wings: legs red.
Anas fusca, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. ii. p. 854. Velvet Duck, Mont. Orn. Diet. Bew. Brit. Birds', vol.ii. p. 320. Velvet Scoter, Selb. Illust. vol. ii. p. 333. pl. 67. (Trachea,) Linn. Trans, vol. xvi. pl. 21. f.2, &3.
Entire length twenty-three inches: length of the bill (from the forehead) one inch eight lines, (from the gape) two inches seven lines; of the tarsus one inch nine lines; of the tail three inches ten lines; from the carpus to the end of the wing ten inches ten lines.
(Male). A small crescent-shaped spot beneath the eyes, and speculum on the wings, white; all the rest of the plumage deep velvet-black: bill orange; a protuberance at the base, nostrils, and margins of both mandibles, black: legs and toes scarlet-red; membranes black. (Female). Similar to the male, but smaller, with the upper plumage more inclining to brown; under parts gray, spotted and streaked with dusky brown; between the bill and the eye, and on the orifice of the ears, a grayish white spot: bill blackish brown; slightly inflated at the base: legs and toes dull red. (Egg). Buff-colour: long. diam. two inches ten lines; trans, diam. one inch ten lines.
A periodical winter visitant, but not very numerous in the southern parts of the country. Frequents the sea-coast, and is very rarely observed inland. Breeds, according to Temminck, in the Arctic Regions, and lays from eight to ten eggs. Dives well in search of its food, which consists-principally of bivalve mollusca.