Pin-tail Ducks

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“Dafila acuta. Pin-tail Duck. Sprig-tail. Bill black, with grayish-blue edge of upper mandible; feet grayish-blue; claws black; iris brown. Head and neck above rich dark brown, glossed with green and purple; side of neck with a long white stripe running up from the white under parts; back of neck with a black stripe passing below into the gray color of the back; the lower fore-neck, breast, and under parts usually, white, the sides finely waved with black, the crissum black, white-bordered. Fore back finely waved with narrow bars of black and white or whitish; the scapulars and long tertiaries firmly striped lengthwise with velvety-black and silvery-gray. Lesser wing-coverts plain gray; greater tipped with reddish-buff, framing the speculum anteriorly; this is of coppery-or purplish-violet iridescence, framed posteriorly with black sub-tips and white tips of the secondaries, internally with silvery and black stripes. Tail-feathers gray, the long central ones blackish; sides and roots of tail varied with blackish and buff. It is thus a very handsome duck in full plumage, aside from the trim and clipper-like build.” Elliot Coues, 1884


Birds: D-E


Elliot Coues Key to North American Birds (Boston, MA: Estes and Lauriat, 1884)


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