Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)

Latin Etymology: Aythya (a seabird named by Aristotle) fuligula ("soot throat")
Adult male Tufted Duck (subspecies Aythya fuligula) at Warnham LNR, West Sussex - February 2015

Featured Subspecies: N/A
Weight: 760g  /  Length: 40-47cm  /  Wingspan: 65-72cm
UK AMBER LIST  / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The Tufted Duck is the second most numerous of the Duck species found in the UK, and other than the Mallard, one of the few species I regularly see wild in urban parks,  The male is a fairly distinctive bird, with bold white side panels, yellow eyes and a blue tinged beak, while the female, as is usual with ducks, is considerably drabber.  Unlike the Mallard, it is a "diver" rather than a dabbler, and so a little more tricky to photograph as it will regularly vanish beneath the water.  It's worth noting also, that in Winter groups of Tufted Duck may contain the much rarer Scaup, so it is worth giving at least a quick scan.  In Japan in Winter, I found them fairly common again, though the Scaup is much more common there, so a bit more care would have to be taken to make sure you had got the right one.

Related Species:

Family: Anatidae 
Genus: Aythya
Subspecies: None - Monotypic

- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - Common resident breeding species (16,000-19,000 pairs) and Common Winter Visitor (120,000 birds)
JAPAN - Japanese - キンクロハジロ  /  Kin-kuro ha-jiro ("Gold-black White-wing")
Winter visitor.
 - TOKYO/HOKKAIDO 2014 TRIP: Seen on river in Kushiro.

BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red ListRSPB, WikipediaXeno-canto

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