Common Pochard

The Common Pochard (Aythya ferina) is a species of diving duck found in temperate and northern Europe into Asia. Their habitat is marshes and lakes that are more than 3 feet in depth. They are migratory, and winter in southern Europe and points west. In the British Isles, birds breed in eastern England and lowland Scotland, and in small numbers in Northern Ireland. Large numbers over-winter in Great Britain, after retreating from Russia and Scandinavia.

The adult male has a long dark bill with a gray band.
The neck and head of the bird are red. Its breast is black, its back is gray, and its eyes are red. The adult female has a brown head and body and a narrow gray bill band. Its head shape is triangular and unique. These Pochards are similar to the North American Redhead and Canvasback.

These are gregarious birds, forming large flocks in winter, often mixed with other diving ducks, such as Tufted Duck, which they are known to hybridize with. These birds feed mainly by diving or dabbling. They eat aquatic plants with some mollusks, aquatic insects and small fish. They often feed at night.

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