Thursday, November 1, 2012

Red-crested Pochard

Netta rufina (male)
The name "Pochard" refers to about half a dozen different species of diving duck, including today's animal, the Red-crested Pochard. They dive and dabble in order to find food, with meals consisting of aquatic plants and the occasional insect.

The males of this species are hard to miss, and are the inspiration for the common name. They have very large, orange heads, bright red bills, and dark chests (females are a pale brown, with a darker crest and white face).

Most Red-crested Pochards migrate long distances each year, moving between breeding and wintering sites (some in South and Central Europe are year-round residents). They breed in Europe and Central Asia around April and May, and then molt during the remainder of the summer, leaving them flightless for around four weeks. During the autumn they fly south to Africa or South Asia, arriving around October and staying until the following spring.

Red-crested Pochards are typically gregarious, and can be found in flocks that contain hundreds of individuals. During the winter they can often be found in flocks with other Diving Duck species. They do tend to nest somewhat apart though during the breeding season, but on occasion their ground nests can be found within 30m of one another.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : Europe, Asia, Africa
Size : Weight up to 2.2lbs (1kg)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Anseriformes
Family : Anatidae -- Genus : Netta -- Species : N. rufina

1 comment:

  1. They're so beautiful, especially their eyes!! Very unique.


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