Red-Crested Pochard

Red-Crested Pochard

Scientific name: Netta rufina

Did you know: The Red-Crested Pochard, with its stunning appearance, has a history of escaping from wildfowl collections in the United Kingdom, leading to a growing, established wild population!

What Do Red-Crested Pochards Look Like? (how to identify them)

Red-Crested Pochards are large diving ducks, boasting a length of 53-57cm and a wingspan of 85-90cm. These ducks are known for their remarkable appearance and robust build.

Differences Between Male And Female Red-Crested Pochards

Males are vibrant, featuring a rounded, orange head and a red bill, contrasting with a black breast and white flanks. The female, however, has palish brown body, white cheeks, and a brown cap. 

In flight, both sexes display a thick white wing stripe and whitish underwings.

What Do Red-Crested Pochards Eat?

Their diet mainly consists of stems, roots, and seeds of aquatic vegetation. They are adept at both dabbling and diving for their food, making them versatile feeders.

Where Do Red-Crested Pochards Live? (inc. migration info)

The Red-Crested Pochard has a wide range, extending from southern and central Europe to central Asia. They migrate between breeding and wintering grounds, with many found on freshwater lakes and pools in the UK, especially those with reedbeds.

Bird Calls & Songs (the unique voices of Red-Crested Pochards)

The male emits a distinctive wheezing veht call, while the female produces a series of hoarse vrah-vrah-vrah calls. Generally, they are not very vocal outside of these specific calls.

Fun Red-Crested Pochard Facts (kid friendly)

  • Males have a fiery orange-coloured head and bright red bill.
  • They can form large flocks in winter, sometimes mixed with other duck species.
  • Red-Crested Pochards dive and swim underwater to feed.
  • They build nests by the lakeside among vegetation.
  • The species is included in the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds.
  • Introduced to the UK, they now have a successful feral population.
  • They are larger than a Pochard and similar in size to a Mallard.
  • In flight, they show distinct whitish underwings.
  • The winter population in the UK is thought to be around 600.

Facts About The Red-Crested Pochard

Diet: Stems, roots and seeds of aquatic vegetation.
Bird Family: Duck, goose and swan family
Length: 53-57cm
Wingspan: 85-90cm
Weight: 900-1,400g
Scientific Name: Netta rufina

The Red-Crested Pochard Can Be Seen In The UK During The Following Months

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

Red-Crested Pochard Images

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Male
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Female
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Hatchling
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Nestling
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Chick
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Fledgling
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Juvenile