Kingdoms / Animalia / Craniata / Aves / Anseriformes / Anatidae / Aythya / Species
< >  Aythya fuligula - Tufted duck (Click photographs/illustrations: full picture & further details)
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INFORMATION AVAILABLE

GENERAL & REFERENCES

EXTERNAL APPEARANCES

REPRODUCTION

BEHAVIOUR

NATURAL DIET

RANGE & HABITAT

CONSERVATION

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General and References

Alternative Names (Synonyms)

Tufted pochard
Reiherente (German)
Fuligule morillon (French)
Canard morillon (French)
Porrķn moņudo (Spanish)
Pato de copete (Spanish)
Kuifeend (Dutch)
Vigg (Swedish)
Fuligula cristata

Names for newly-hatched

Duckling, downy.

Names for non-breeding males or other colour-phases

Eclipse

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References

Species Author

Debra Bourne

Major References

B1, B2, B3, B6, B8, B19, B25, B26, B27.

Other references:
B138

Aviculture references:
B29, B31, B40, B94, B96, B97, B128.w1, B129
D1, D8

ORGANISATIONS
(UK Contacts)

ELECTRONIC LIBRARY
(Further Reading)
Click image for full contents list of ELECTRONIC LIBRARY

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TAXA Group (where information has been collated for an entire group on a modular basis)

Parent Group

Specific Needs Group referenced in Management Techniques

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Aviculture Information

Notes

General information:
  • Pochards are diving ducks which spend most of their time on water, and are ungainly on land. They are generally hardy, sociable and easy to maintain in captivity. They should be kept with deep water available for diving, also islands, good marginal vegetation and loafing areas. Water providing a good supply of natural animal and vegetable food is preferred.
  • These ducks may be kept in mixed collections with dabbling ducks, including smaller species such as teal. They should be fed wheat in water, encouraging their natural diving behaviour. Pellets should also be fed. They may breed better if a group rather than single pair kept, as this allows their normal group displaying activity.
  • 12x12x14 inch (30x30x35cm) nest box with 5 inch (12.5cm) entrance hole suggested, placed under cover at the edge of the pond (B128.w1).

(B29, B40, B94, B128.w1, D1).

Species-specific information:

  • Tufted ducks are hardy, easy to manage, widely kept, good in mixed collections; they prefer large lakes with deep water for diving and natural food available. Feed as other diving and dabbling ducks (grain, pellets, green food, grass, bread) plus extra animal material if no natural food is available. Like to dive for food.
  • These ducks are easy to breed. They breed best on a large, deep pond or lake, not over-populated, and with natural bankside vegetation such as rushes or reeds to nest in (they may also use baskets and shallow boxes close to water). Eggs are laid from mid-May onwards (B31); April to June (B29). These ducks brood reliably if undisturbed; ducklings may be parent reared in small enclosures (where they may be easily checked) or very large areas, otherwise hand-rearing may be used. Ducklings are not difficult to rear, although they are highly insectivorous initially and live insects are useful for feeding as well as duckweed and starter crumbs.
  • This species commonly hybridises, particularly with other Aythya species; hybrids also reported with Anas spp., Netta spp., Bucephala albeola - Bufflehead, Bucephala clangula - Common goldeneye.

(B29, B31, B94, B96, B97, B129).

Aviornis UK Ringing Scheme suggested average closed ring size: L 11.0mm (D8).

Individual Techniques linked in Wildpro

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External Appearance (Morphology)

Measurement & Weight

Length 17-18 inches, 43-46cm (B3); 40-47cm (B1).
Adult weight General 1000-1400g (B1).
Male 1000-1400g average 1116g (B3).
Female 1000-1150g average 1050g (B3).
Newly-hatched weight --
Growth rate --

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Head

Adult Bill Male Slate grey/blue with narrow whitish subterminal band, black nail.
Variations (If present) Female: Darker grey with paler grey subterminal band, black tip.
Eyes (Iris) Male Yellow.
Variations(If present) Female: Yellow to brownish.
Juvenile Bill Grey with black nail.
Eyes (Iris) Brown.

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Legs

Adult Male Grey.
Variations (If present) --
Juvenile Grey.

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Plumage

Adult Male
Click Illustration for full-page view
Head glossy black with trailing crest (distinctive), neck and breast, tail, tailcoverts and rump, and upperparts black. Flanks and abdomen white.

Wing coverts black, secondaries and inner primaries white with black tips, outer primaries dusky.

Variations (If present)
Click Illustration for full-page view
Female: head dark brown with short crest, variable white around bill and chin. Neck, upperparts and tail dark brown shading to breast paler brown, flanks brown with paler feathertips giving barring. Abdomen and undertail coverts variable white with brown mottling.
Juvenile Similar to females; darker head in juvenile males.

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Newly-hatched Characteristics

General: Upperparts sooty brown, underparts yellow.
Bill: Dark olive-brown.
Feet: Dark brown.

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Reproduction

Reproductive Season

Time of year Begins May.
No. of Clutches One, but re-nests if clutch lost.

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Nest placement and structure

Preferably on islands, on ground in vegetation or in open, grass and sedges with a thick down lining.

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Egg clutches

No. of Eggs Average 8-11 (B1); 10 (B8)
Range 6-14 (B1, B8).
Egg Description Olive-grey or greenish-grey (B3, B8). 59x41mm, 56g (B3).

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Incubation

23-28 days (B1, B8).

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Hatching

Synchronous.

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Fledging

45-50 days (B1, B8).

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Sexual Maturity

Males One, occasionally two years old.
Females One, occasionally two years old.

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Behaviour

Feeding Behaviour

Adults Dive for food, also upend and head-dip; pick food on shore and from surface.
Newly-hatched --

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Parental Behaviour

Nest-building Solitary nests or in loose groups, built by female.
Incubation By female only.
Newly-hatched Tended by female.
Juveniles

Independent at or before fledging.

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Social Behaviour

Intra-specific Gregarious most of the year, often found in large flocks.
Inter-specific --

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Sexual Behaviour

Seasonal pair bond.

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Predation in Wild

--

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Activity Patterns

--
Circadian --

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Natural Diet

Adults

Molluscs and crustaceans often major item, also aquatic insects, seeds and green parts of aquatic plants. Happily eat bread and scraps in urban parks.

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Newly-hatched

--

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Range and Habitat

Distribution and Movement (Migration etc.)

Normal Iceland, Britain, across northern Palearctic to Kamchatka and southwards to central Europe, northern Mongolia, Hokkaido (north Japan)

Partly migratory. Winters in north-west Europe (adding to sedentary population), Mediterranean basin, northern and sub-Saharan Africa, south-west of former USSR, middle East, Indian subcontinent, Japan, south-east Asia to Philippines.

Occasional and Accidental

Occasional to Alaska and (mainly west coast of) North America.

Introduced

--

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Habitat

Large deep freshwater lakes, reservoirs, ponds with open water and islands (for breeding); also wide, slow-flowing rivers, plus brackish lagoons and coastal bags in winter.

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Conservation

Intraspecific variation

--

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Conservation Status

Wild Population -
(Importance)

Abundant. Stable or increasing (B1, B8).

General Legislation
  • This species is listed on Schedule 2 - Part I (Birds which may be killed or taken outside the close season, 1 February to 31 August except where indicated otherwise: Notes on the revised schedules state "NOTE: The close season for ducks and geese when below high water mark is 21 February to 31 August") of the LUK2 - Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 of the United Kingdom. (W5.Oct01)
  • This species is listed on Schedule 3 - Part 3 (Birds which may be sold alive at all times if ringed and bred in captivity: Notes on the revised schedules state "Birds which may be sold dead from 1 September to 28 February (NB: It is illegal to offer for sale at any time of the year any wild goose, moorhen, gadwall or goldeneye, although they are legitimate quarry species outside the close season)) of the LUK2 - Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 of the United Kingdom. (W5.Oct01)
CITES listing Listing not yet included.
Red-data book listing Listing not yet included.
Threats --

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Captive Populations

Common particularly in European collections (B8).

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Trade

--

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