Falcated Duck Anas falcata
- Anas: Latin word for Duck
- Falcate: falcatus – sickle-shaped. This epithet refers to the elongated curved tertials
Vernacular name: Hindi: Kala sinkhur, Guj: Chotili murghabi, Mar: Khurpi Badak
Distribution in India: Winter visitor in North & East India
Description: Size of 46–54 cm; wt. of male 590–770 g, wt. of female 422–700 g; wingspan of 78–82 cm. The male has bushy crest of dark metallic purple-chestnut, green on sides, white spot above bill base, neck white with narrow dark green half-collar, silver grey body with black crescents on breast and belly, and finely vermiculated flanks, dark grey to black tail, long, sickle-shaped, black and white secondaries, pale grey to grey-brown wings, with black and glossy green speculum. The bill is black, legs are yellowish to bluish grey, and eyes are brown. It has eclipse plumage, which is female-like, but head retains some green gloss and darker cheeks. The female shows traces of crest on nape, with dark brown head and neck, as well as body and tail The belly is yellow-brown spotted darker, and grey-black wings, with slightly elongated secondaries and black and green speculum. The bill is black or dark brown, long and flat, has a short tail. The juvenile resembles female but lacks crest on nape. The young male has greenish cast to crown, while female has more brown on inner secondaries, duller speculum and lacks ochre bands on shoulder and hindneck feathers. At Sub-adult stage, sexes differ most obviously in pattern of lesser and median wing-coverts, which in males vary from plain grey with fine dark shaft streaks to duskier grey with slightly paler fringes, whereas in females, the lesser and median coverts are dusky mid grey with strongly contrasting pale grey fringes, and the greater secondary-coverts are duller grey than those of males.
Habitat: It is Breeds on freshwater lakes, rivers, ponds, lagoons, often in wooded country. In winter, also on coast and in larger, shallow waterbodies, rice fields and flooded meadows.
Food habits: It is mainly vegetarian. It eats seeds of various types , green parts of aquatic vegetation and crop plants, grasses and also a few aquatic invertebrates like molluscs and insects. It feeds by dabbling and upending in shallow wate. It also grazes on dry, arable land. Usually observed alone or in pairs during breeding season, but flocks form during non-breeding season.
Breeding habits: They breed in May/June. They are monogamous. They nest on ground among dense vegetation, near water. They lay a clutch 6–10 eggs. The incubation period is 24–26 days done by female alone during which period male abandons her.