By Guy C. L. Dutson
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Additional info for Birds of Melanesia
Check the illustration, short text and distribution of the closest species. Turn to the main text for a full description of the bird, the likely confusion species, and its exact geographical, altitudinal and habitat range. The key features of each subspecies are given at the end of the species text, with subspecies listed in geographical order from west to east and comparisons are made with the preceding subspecies. Not all subspecies and plumages are illustrated. If the bird differs from the closest illustration, check the full text for a description of other plumages and subspecies.
For this purpose, the region has been divided into 14 territories as detailed below, representing the seven main biogeographic island groups (and belonging to four different nations). A full listing of these island groups and their principal component islands is given on page 37. Species’ occurrence in these areas is indicated by colour shading (see below). For species with very limited ranges (for example, those that occur only on one or two small islands within a group), more specific information is given in the caption text.
Mn Mu NI NB Bv Gu MI NG Mk RI Te Vu Hardheadâ•‡ Aythya australis Lo GT Page 231 52 cm. Diving duck. Plain chestnut or chocolate-brown with white undertail-coverts. Male has white eye and blue on bill. Female has dark eye and duller bill. In flight, broad white upperwing-bar, white underwings and white belly. Large lakes. Rests on water and dives. Uncommon. Mn Mu NI NB Bv Gu MI NG Mk RI Te Vu Tufted Duckâ•‡ Aythya fuligula Lo GT Page 232 44 cm. Diving duck. Male is black and white with crest which is variable and sometimes absent.