Visual Search | Wizard | Browse
Bird name:

Tufted Duck

Aythya fuligula




Geese and Ducks (Anatidae)





Euring 5

iBird Ad

Breeding Location:

Lakes, Rivers, Reservoirs, Gravel pits

Breeding Type:


Egg Colour:

Smooth and pale green or olive.

Number of Eggs:

8 - 11

Incubation Days:

23 - 28

Egg Incubator:


Nest Material:

In vegetation or in open, grass and sedges with a thick down lining.

Nest Location:

On ground hidden by vegetation.


Most migrate


Tufted Duck: Diving duck with drooping crest. Head dark purple-black with yellow eye. Blue-grey bill with pale grey and black tip. Black breast, neck, back, rump, tail, and vent. Belly and flanks white. Dark black-grey wings with black trailing edge and broad white wing bar. Adult female like male but smaller crest and dark brown head, neck, back, tail, and breast. Grey-brown flanks and can show white near bill. Eclipse male like female but paler flanks and darker upperparts. Juvenile like female but smaller tuft, more uniform, and brown eye.

Range and Habitat

Tufted Duck: Resident breeder and winter visitor in the UK & Ireland. Birds can be seen year round. Breeding birds prefer lowland wetlands and lakes, especially in northern Britain, though less commonly in Wales. In winter birds seek southern wetland areas including rivers and estuaries.

Breeding and Nesting

Tufted Duck: Breeds near freshwater lakes, ponds, reservoirs. Nest is constructed by female on the ground or as a floating mat, in thick cover if available. Nest is grasses and sedges, thickly lined with female's down. Incubation begins after clutch is complete; young hatch within 24-hour period.

Foraging and Feeding

Tufted Duck: Feeds by diving for mulluscs, aquatic insects, and some crustaceans. Will also eat grains, the seeds and vegetative parts of aquatic plants. Foraging, sometimes at night, in reed-fringed lakes and slow-moving rivers and estuaries.


Tufted Duck: Gives a low whistle during courtship.

Similar Species

Tufted Duck: Scaup has a grey bill with a much smaller black patch, has a more greenish tinge, lacks any head crest, and has a grey back.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
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.
Tufts of feathers on the head of the bird.
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