Wilson, Alexander, 1766-1813. / American ornithology; or The natural history of the birds of the United States
Species 21. Anas fuligula. Tufted duck, pp. -359
a comparative description of the two birds, and named the sub- ject of this article rufitorques. The American Tufted Duck is said to be common on the Ohio, and the Mississippi; Messieurs Say and Peale procured it on the Missouri; Lewis and Clark shot it on the Columbia;* and myself in East Florida. It is, properly speaking, a fresh water Duck, although it is sometimes found on the coast. On the Delaware we observe it in the spring and autumn; and, if the weather be moderate, we see it occasionally throughout the winter. With us it is not a numerous species; and is rather a solitary bird, seldom more than four or five being found together. It is more common in the month of March than at any other time. It is a plump, short-bodied Duck; its flesh tender, and well tasted; but in no respect to be compared to that of the Canvass-back; it is even inferior to the Mallard. The American Tufted Duck is seventeen inches long, and twenty-seven inches in breadth; the bill is broad, of a dull blu- ish ash colour, the base of the upper mandible marked with a stripe of pure white, which extends along its edges, and then forms a wider band across near the tip, which is of a deep black -this white band changes after death to gray or bluish white; irides rich orange; a spot of white on the chin; head tufted, and, with the upper part of the neck, black, with reflections of rich purple, predominating on the back part of the neck; about the middle of the neck there is an interrupted band of a rich deep glossy chestnut; throat, lower part of the neck, breast, back, scapulars, rump, and tail-coverts, of a silky brownish black; primaries and wing-coverts brown; tertials dark brown, with strong reflections of green; secondaries pale ash, or bluish white, forming the speculum, some tipt with brown and others with white; back and scapulars powdered with particles of dull white, not to be observed but on a near inspection, and presenting the appearance of dust; lower part of the breast, and whole belly, white, with a yellowish tinge; vent dusky; sides; under the * Hist. of the Exped. vol. ji, p. 19.,, 8No. 358 TUFTED DUCK.
Based on date of publication, this material is presumed to be in the public domain.| For information on re-use, see http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/Copyright