Tufted Duck

Aythya fuligula

Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)

The females have a short crest on the nape of the neck, and have a dark brown body with pale brown flanks. The males are altogether darker but with white flanks and a long wispy tuft on the nape. Both sexes have yellow eyes and blue-grey bills with a black tip, and bold white wingbars. The juvenile has a dark, dull brown body and a slight tuft.

Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)

They dive beneath the water to feed on molluscs and insects. The nest is formed of a down-lined hollow in long vegetation close to water. It lays 8-11 eggs in 1 brood, from May to June. They can live for up to 15 years.

Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)

Seen all year round, and inhabits lakes, gravel pits, and reservoirs. Along with Pochards, the Tufted Duck can form large winter flocks on inland waters. There has been a decline in breeding numbers, yet it  widespread throughout the British Isles.

Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)

Photographs of Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula) taken October 2011, nature reserve, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2011. Camera used Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38.

Is it a Turkey? No, It’s A Duck

Muscovy Duck (Cairina moschata)

Wild Muscovies are black and white, but with breeding there are different colour varieties, from iridescent green, brown, blues and lavender plumage. They have large, strong clawed feet which they use for roosting in trees, and they are webbed for swimming. Their faces are bare and bright red, or red and black, and the drakes have pronounced carnacules at the base of their bills and a low erectile crest of feathers.

They feed on small invertebrates and plant material. Nests are usually made in the hollow of a tree where they lay between 8 to 21 eggs in a clutch. They breed three times a year. They can live for up to 8 years.

Muscovies do not swim as much as other ducks due to the fact that their oil glands are not as well-developed as other species.

Seen all year round, they are found in ponds, rivers and streams. Native to Mexico, Central and South America, and was introduced to Europe and the UK some centuries ago as domesticated farm produce, from which they are commonly called ‘Barbary Ducks’. Although they are a tropical species they do fairly well in colder climes.

Photographs taken  August 2008, park, Staffordshire, and April 2015, Buxton, Derbyshire.

Not Such An Ugly Duckling

This little duckling and its mom was quite a sight to see as they came bobbing down the canal waters.

They had been ducking and diving (please excuse the pun) below the water looking for aquatic vegetation to feed on. It is called a Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos).

Visit Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) to learn more about this wonderful  waterfowl.