Tufted Duck

©Guy Edwardes/2020VISION

Tufted Duck

©Guy Edwardes/2020VISION

Tufted duck

Scientific name: Aythya fuligula
This comical little duck lives up to its name – look out for the black tuft of feathers on its head!

Species information

Statistics

Length: 41-45cm
Wingspan: 70cm
Weight: 760g
Average lifespan: 4 years

Conservation status

Classified in the UK as Green under the Birds of Conservation Concern 4: the Red List for Birds (2015). Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981.

When to see

January to December

About

Rocking an incredible hairdo, this is our most common diving duck nesting on flooded gravel pits, lakes and reservoirs. Tufted ducks feed on waterweed, plant seeds and water insects. Like most ducks, the 'drake' (male) has nothing to do with the incubation of the eggs or raising the young. The 'hen' (female) has eight to eleven eggs in a brood; the young becoming independent once their true feathers have fledged.

How to identify

The tufted duck is very distinctive: the female is entirely chocolate-brown, while the male is black with white flanks and a long tuft at the back of the head.

Distribution

Found throughout the country, on lakes, reservoirs and flooded gravel pits.

Did you know?

The scientific name of the tufted duck, fuligula, means 'sooty throat'. Like most ducks, the 'drake' (male) has nothing to do with the incubation of the eggs or raising the young. The 'hen' (female) has eight to eleven eggs in a brood; the young becoming independent once their true feathers have fledged.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many wetland nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife news, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and will be helping local wildlife along the way.