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Bird name:

Red-crested Pochard

Netta rufina




Geese and Ducks (Anatidae)





Euring 5

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Breeding Location:

Lakes, Rivers

Breeding Type:


Egg Colour:

Cream to pale green, different within the clutch.

Number of Eggs:

6 - 14

Incubation Days:

26 - 28

Egg Incubator:


Nest Material:

Hollow made of roots, twigs and leaves and lined with down feathers.

Nest Location:

Near water on the ground in dense vegetation or on floating mats of vegetation amidst reedbeds.


Some migrate


Red-crested Pochard: Mallard-sized duck with red-orange crown, brown face with red eye, and red bill. Nape, back of neck, underparts, and rump black. Large, white lower flanks. Back grey-brown. Wings mostly white with grey-brown and black trailing edge. Fast, direct flight. Adult female pale, grey-brown on upperparts, pale brown on underparts. Dark grey around eye, and light grey on face and throat. Dark grey bill with dull pink. Male eclipse like female but more red-brown and red eye and bill. Juvenile like female but all dark bill.

Range and Habitat

Red-crested Pochard: Escaped breeder and scarce visitor in Britain. Birds are visible all year. Breeding birds are likely to be found in southern and eastern England. Occasional birds visit on passage from continental Europe. Habitat includes lakes, reservoirs, and marshes.

Breeding and Nesting

Red-Crested Pochard: Nest is a small, lined depression on the ground near water or on a reed platform in water. It is usually well hidden in vegetation. Two or more females may share a "dump nest" or community nest. Female may also parasitize, laying eggs in the nest of another species.

Foraging and Feeding

Red-crested Pochard: Feeds mainly by diving or dabbling for stems, roots and seeds of aquatic vegetation. Found in marshes, lakes and river deltas forming flocks with other ducks.


Red-crested Pochard: Generally silent.

Similar Species

Red-crested Pochard: Pintail has brown, less rufous head, bright white neck and breast, distinctive long tail, and yellow sides of rump. Pochard has a grey and black bill, fully white belly, darker red-brown head, and grey wings.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
4 and 6 letter alpha codesX

The four letter common name alpha code is is derived from the first two letters of the common first name and the first two letters of common last name. The six letter species name alpha code is derived from the first three letters of the scientific name (genus) and the first three letters of the scientific name (species). See (1) below for the rules used to create the codes..

Four-letter (for English common names) and six-letter (for scientific names) species alpha codes were developed by Pyle and DeSante (2003, North American Bird-Bander 28:64-79) to reflect A.O.U. taxonomy and nomenclature (A.O.U. 1998) as modified by Supplements 42 (Auk 117:847-858, 2000) and 43 (Auk 119:897-906, 2002). The list has been updated by Pyle and DeSante to reflect changes reported by the A.O.U from 2003 through 2006.


The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) was established in the mid-1990 s as a cooperative project among several federal agencies to improve and expand upon taxonomic data (known as the NODC Taxonomic Code) maintained by the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

To find the ITIS page for a bird species go to the ITIS web site advanced search and report page at You can enter the TSN or the common name of the bird. It will return the ITIS page for that bird. Another way to obtain the ITIS page is to use the Google search engine. Enter the string ITIS followed by the taxonomic ID, for example "ITIS 178041" will return the page for the Allen's Hummingbird.

Parts of a Standing birdX
Head Feathers and MarkingsX
Parts of a Flying birdX