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CERCELLES - Defined

CERCELLES — The French name sometimes seen on bills of fare for "Teal". The teal was evidently a favorite dish in old time. It is constantly referred to in mediaeval books on cookery as a customary part of every great entertainment.

Background Information on the Bird

Querqucdula discors (Linn.). Blue-winged Teal; Cercelle. — This little duck arrives in September and October, and flocks of 10 to 20 may be seen in the mangrove swamps; they also frequent the rain pools in the pastures and some of the ponds; they afford good sport and are in fine condition in the months of February and March. A few of them remain all the year, but I have no authentic account of their breeding here, though they do breed at Isle-de-Rhode.

THE BLUE-WINGED TEAL

(Anas discors)

The blue-winged teal is only a straggler north of Lower California, Arizona and Mexico. In Mexico and Lower California I know them to be quite common, and reasonably plentiful in some parts of Arizona.

The blue-winged teal is a plumper bird than either of the other species, and not near so handsomely marked. It is a rapid flyer and affords good shooting in those sections where it is plentiful.

ColorMale—Head, a glossy purplish gray, darker on top; between the eye and the bill is a white crescent shaped mark about one-fourth wider in its center than the eye; the wing-coverts are blue like those of the cinnamon teal; back, dark gray; under parts, gray, spotted with black; speculum, rich green; bill, black, and legs and feet, yellow.

Female—The female resembles the female of the cinnamon teal; but unlike the cinnamon it has no dark markings under the chin, or any of the cinnamon color faintly seen on the cinnamon female. The bill also is much shorter, and the legs are of a yellowish tinge.

Nest and Eggs—The nests are much the same as the other members of the teal family. The eggs about a dozen in number are pale buff.

Measurements—Total length, 15 inches; wing, about 7, and bill, 1 1/2 inches.

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Vintage Culinary Terms - "C"