Red-crested Pochard

Netta rufina

A Red-crested Pochard drake
Photo courtesy of andy@gm0eco.com

This large Pochard, one of the Diving Ducks, is native to Europe and Asia. They inhabit mostly freshwater, prefering pools and deep protected areas along moving water.

In the breeding male, the head is rusty orange, breast black, sides white, wings brownish and the distinctive bill is red. In eclipse plumage he looks like the female but his bill remains red. The female has a dark brown crown and nape with pale grey on lower face and front of neck. Otherwise, she is dull brown. Her bill is reddish-brown.

They are unusual among ducks in that the drake will dive and bring food to the female during breeding season. Typical clutch size is 6-14 greenish eggs. Incubation lasts 25-27 days. They do well in captivity and mix well with other small ducks.


Two shots of females Red-crested Pochards
Photos courtesy of andy@gm0eco.com

A drake in eclipse plumage
Photo courtesy of David Townsend

Red-crested Pochards: The bird in front on the left is definitely a male, from its red bill, although he is in eclipse plumage


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