Red Crested Pochard Duck
The Red Crested Pochard Duck (Netta rufina) is a large diving duck. This duck’s breeding habitat is lowland marshes and lakes in southern Europe and Central Asia, wintering in the Indian Subcontinent and Africa. It is rather migratory, and northern birds winter further south into northern Africa.
Male – The male Red-crested Pochard has a rounded orange head, black breast, grey-brown back, white flanks, and black tail. The male also has a bright red beak, red eyes, and red-orange legs and feet.
Female – The female has a dark brown crown and nape with white cheeks, brownish eyes, upper-parts are brown with under-parts being lighter brown. The beak is dark grey-brown with pinkish tip, and the legs and feet are grey-pink.
Eclipse – The male in eclipse plumage is very similar to the female but retains the red eyes and bright red beak.
Size: – Typical Adult is about 22 inches.
Food: – Mainly aquatic vegetation, leaves, stems, roots, seeds, also occasionally insects, larvae, small aquatic animals.
Habitat: – Well-vegetated lakes, rivers, occasionally estuaries, and coast in western Mediterranean, south Spain, south France, Black sea, and central Asia. They winter in the Indian Sub-continent, south-east Asia, and Africa.
Breeding Season: – Mid-April to early June.
Eggs: – 8 to 12 (pale green color).
Notes: – The Red-crested Pochard is a typical diving duck which likes deep well-vegetated lakes. During courtship the male will dive for food which is offered to the female. The calls are a wheezing veht call can be given by the male. Series of hoarse vrah-vrah-vrah calls can also be heard from females.