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Bird name:


Aythya ferina




Geese and Ducks (Anatidae)





Euring 5

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Breeding Location:

Lakes, Reservoirs, Gravel pits

Breeding Type:


Egg Colour:

Smooth and pale green, greenish-grey or green-tinted buff.

Number of Eggs:

6 - 15

Incubation Days:

24 - 28

Egg Incubator:


Nest Material:

A depression or shallow cup in a thick heap of vegetation lined with down.

Nest Location:

On the ground usually in shallow water, concealed in thick waterside reedbeds, or on floating mats of reeds of other vegetation. In years of high water levels when there are few emergent reedbeds or floating mats the species may nest in sedge tussocks, flooded fields, or under bushes on hummocks.


Most migrate


Pochard: Stocky, diving duck with dark red-brown head. Has red eye, dark grey bill with pale grey band, and black breast and upper back. The rest of the back is grey as is the belly. Wings are grey with dark grey trailing edge on primaries. Rump, tail, and vent are black. Adult female has wings like male but back and belly are brown-grey, breast and upper back are brown, and head and neck are grey-brown. Has buff eye ring, line behind dark eye, and lores. Juvenile like female but more uniform head and paler brown body with indistinct barring.

Range and Habitat

Pochard: Winter visitor and resident breeder in the UK & Ireland. Birds can be seen all year-round. Breeding areas are found across England, in central Ireland, and on Scotland's east coast. Birds winter on the north and Cornish coasts of England, in coastal Wales, and in Scotland. Found on lakes and estuaries.

Breeding and Nesting

Pochard: Nest is on the ground near water, or on a platform above water. It is a shallow cup of reeds and other vegetation lined with down. Female builds nest and incubates eggs, usually 6 to 10. Two females may share a nest, which can contain up to 22 eggs. Male usually leaves during incubation.

Foraging and Feeding

Pochard: Feeds mostly on plants and seeds found around open lakes, estuaries and slow rivers. It will also eat snails, small fish and insects.


Pochard: Usually silent, utters a variety of whistles in courtship, female utters a "squawk."

Similar Species

Pochard: Red-crested Pochard is larger, has a red bill, brown upperparts, and black underparts. Pintail has brown, less rufous head, bright white neck and breast, distinctive long tail, and yellow on sides of rump.

The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
The upper front part of a bird.
Eye ringX
The circle around the eye formed of feathers that are a different color from the rest of the face.
The primaries are the flight feathers specialized for flight. They are attached to the "hand" equivalent part of the wing.
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
Birds do not have two separate cavities for excrement and reproduction like humans do. In birds, there is one single entrance/exit that suits both functions called the vent, cloaca or anus.
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