1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Garganey

GARGANEY[1] (North-Italian, Garganello), or Summer-Teal, the Anas querquedula and A. circia of Linnaeus (who made, as did Willughby and Ray, two species out of one), and the type of Stephens’s genus Querquedula. This bird is one of the smallest of the Anatidae, and has gained its common English name from being almost exclusively a summer-visitant to England where nowadays it only regularly resorts to breed in some of the East-Norfolk Broads, though possibly at one time it was found at the same season throughout the great Fen-district. Slightly larger than the common teal (A. crecca), the male is readily distinguished therefrom by its peculiarly-coloured head, the sides of which are nutmeg-brown, closely freckled with short whitish streaks, while a conspicuous white curved line descends backwards from the eyes. The upper wing-coverts are bluish grey, the scapulars black with a white shaft-stripe, and the wing-spot (speculum) greyish green bordered above and below by white. The female closely resembles the hen teal, but possesses no wing-spot. In Ireland or Scotland the garganey is very rare, and though it is recorded from Iceland, more satisfactory evidence of its occurrence there is needed. It has not a high northern range, and its appearance in Norway and Sweden is casual. Though it breeds in many parts of Europe, in none can it be said to be common; but it ranges far to the eastward in Asia—even to Formosa, according to Swinhoe—and yearly visits India in winter in enormous numbers. Those that breed in Norfolk arrive somewhat late in spring and make their nests in the vast reed-beds which border the Broads—a situation rarely or never chosen by the teal. The labyrinth or bony enlargement of the trachea in the male garganey differs in form from that described in any other drake, being more oval and placed nearly in the median line of the windpipe, instead of on one side, as is usually the case.

  1. The word was introduced by Willughby from Gesner (Orn., lib. iii. p. 127), but, though generally adopted by authors, seems never to have become other than a book-name in English, the bird being invariably known in the parts of this island where it is indigenous as “summer-teal.”