Bronze-winged Jacana, Metopidius indicus, is a
jacana. It is the only member of the genus Metopidius.
The jacanas are a group of waders in the family
Charadriidae, which are identifiable by their
huge feet and claws which enable them to walk
on floating vegetation in the shallow lakes that
are their preferred habitat. They are found worldwide
within the tropical zone.
The Bronze-winged Jacana breeds in India and southeast
Asia. It is sedentary apart from seasonal dispersion.
It lays four black-marked brown eggs in a floating
nest. The males, as in some other wader families
like the phalaropes, take responsibility for incubation.
These are conspicuous and unmistakable birds.
They are 29cm long, but the females are larger
than the males. They are mainly black, although
the inner wings are very dark brown and the tail
is red. There is a striking white eyestripe. The
yellow bill extends up as a red coot-like head
shield, and the legs and very long toes are grey.
Measurements (from Rasmussen and Anderton, 2005)
Length 280-310 mm Wing 150-197 mm (males 150-180mm
, females 167-187 mm) Bill from tip to top of
frontal shield 34-46 mm (adults) 32-38 (juveniles)
Tarsus 61-76 mm Tail 40-52 mm.
Greylag is a large goose, 74-84 cm (29-33 in)
long with a 149-168 cm (59-66 in) wingspan and
a body weight of 2.3-5.5 kg (5-12 lbs). It has
a large head and almost triangular bill. The legs
are pink, and the bird is easily identified in
flight by the pale leading edge to the wing. It
has a loud cackling call, kiYAAA-ga-ga, like the
This species is found throughout the Old World,
apparently breeding where suitable localities
are to be found in many European countries, although
it no longer breeds in southwestern Europe. Eastwards
it extends across Asia to China.The geese are
migratory, moving south or west in winter, but
Scottish breeders, some other populations in northwestern
Europe, and feral flocks are largely resident.
This species is one of the last to migrate. One
theory on the etymology of the name (American
Heritage Dictionary) is that "-lag"
derives from this "lagging behind",
although the Oxford English Dictionary analyses
"-lag" as a dialectical word for "goose",
of unknown origin.
Pintail or Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) is a widely-occurring
duck which breeds in the northern areas of Europe,
Asia and North America. It is strongly migratory
in winters south of its breeding range to the equator.
Unusually for a bird with such a large range, it
has no geographical subspecies if the possibly conspecific
Eaton's Pintail is considered to be a separate species.
This is a fairly large duck, with a long pointed
tail that gives rise to the species' English and
scientific names. The male has a very distinctive
brown, grey and white appearance, whereas the female
has mainly light brown plumage and a shorter tail.
The male's call is a mellow whistle, whereas the
female quacks like a Mallard.
The Northern Pintail is a bird of open wetlands
which nests on the ground, often some distance from
water. It feeds by dabbling for plant food and adds
small invertebrates to its diet during the nesting
season. It is highly gregarious when not breeding,
forming large mixed flocks with other species of
This duck's population is affected by predators,
parasites and avian diseases. Human activities,
such as agriculture, hunting and fishing, have also
had a significant impact on numbers. Nevertheless,
this species' huge range and large population mean
that it is not threatened globally.
Common Teal is the smallest dabbling duck at 34-38
cm length with a 53-59 cm wingspan. The breeding
male has grey flanks and back, with a yellow rear
end and a white-edged green speculum, obvious in
flight or at rest. It has a chestnut head with a
green eye patch. It is distinguished from drake
Green-winged Teal by a horizontal white scapular
stripe, no vertical white bar on side of breast,
and thin buff lines on its head.
The females are light brown, with plumage much like
a female Mallard. They can be distinguished from
most ducks on size and shape, and the speculum,
although distinguishing them from female Green-winged
Teal is difficult.
In non-breeding (eclipse) plumage, the drake looks
more like the female.
Ruddy Shelduck is a distinctive species, 58-70 cm
long with a 110-135 cm wingspan. It has orange-brown
body plumage and a paler head. The wings are white
with black flight feathers. It swims well, and in
flight looks heavy, more like a goose than a duck.
The sexes of this striking species are similar,
but the male has a black ring at the bottom of the
neck in the breeding season summer, and the female
often has a white face patch. The call is a loud
In captivity this species is generally aggressive
and antisocial and is best housed in pairs unless
in a very large area. Then it may mix with other
species, although it will still be feisty at breeding
Coot is 36-42 cm long, and is largely black except
for the white facial shield (which gave rise to
the phrase "as bald as a coot"). As a
swimming species, the Coot has partial webbing on
its long strong toes.
The juvenile is paler than the adult, has a whitish
breast, and lacks the facial shield; the adult black
plumage develops when about 3-4 months old, but
the white shield is only fully developed at about
one year old, some time later.
This is a noisy bird with a wide repertoire of crackling,
explosive or trumpeting calls, often given at night.
are gregarious birds, forming large flocks in winter,
often mixed with other diving ducks, such as other
pochards. They feed mainly by diving or dabbling.
They eat aquatic plants, and typically upend for
food more than most diving ducks.
Red-crested pochards build a nest by the lakeside
among vegetation and lay 8-12 pale green eggs. The
birds' status in the British Isles is much confused
due to the fact that there have been many escapes
and deliberate releases over the years, as well
as natural visitors from the continent. However,
it is most likely that they are escapees that are
now breeding wild and have built up a successful
feral population. They are most numerous around
areas of England including Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire
and Northamptonshire. Wild birds occasionally turn
up at places such as Abberton Reservoir, Essex.
Pygmy Goose (Cotton Teal)
Cotton Pygmy Goose or the Cotton Teal, Nettapus
coromandelianus is a small perching duck which breeds
in India, Pakistan, southeast Asia and south to
northern Australia. It is locally known as Girri,
Girria, Girja (Hindi); Gurgura (Etawah); Bali hans
(Bengal); Bhullia hans (Bangladesh); Dandana (Orissa);
Ade, Atla (Ratnagiri); Naher, Keeke, Chuwa (Nowgong,
Assam); Baher, Kararhi (Sind, Pakistan).