The tufted duck or tufted pochard (Aythya fuligula) is a small diving duck with a population of close to one million birds, found in northern Eurasia. The scientific name is derived from Ancient Greek aithuia, an unidentified seabird mentioned by authors including Hesychius and Aristotle, and Latin fuligo "soot" and gula "throat".
|Male (above) and female (below)|
|Global map of sightings reported to eBird|
Anas fuligula Linnaeus, 1758
The adult male is all black except for white flanks and a blue-grey bill with gold-yellow eyes, along with a thin crest on the back of its head. It has an obvious head tuft that gives the species its name. The adult female is brown with paler flanks, and is more easily confused with other diving ducks. In particular, some have white around the bill base which resembles the scaup species, although the white is never as extensive as in those ducks. The females' call is a harsh, growling "karr", mostly given in flight. The males are mostly silent but they make whistles during courtship based on a simple "wit-oo".
The tufted duck is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.
Refer to the following table for measurements of the tufted duck:
|Range of mass||753-1026.2 g||629-906.8 g|
|Average of mass||889.6 g||768.3 g|
|Range of length||40.6-45.7 cm||40.6-45.7 cm|
|Average of length||43.2 cm||43.2 cm|
|Range of wingspan||20.2-21.2 cm||19.4-20.7 cm|
The tufted duck breeds throughout temperate and northern Eurasia. It occasionally can be found as a winter visitor along both coasts of the United States and Canada. It is believed to have expanded its traditional range with the increased availability of open water due to gravel extraction, and the spread of freshwater mussels, a favourite food. These ducks are migratory in most of their range, and overwinter in the milder south and west of Europe, southern Asia and all year in the British Isles. One individual has been reported as far south as Melbourne, Australia. They form large flocks on open water in winter.
- BirdLife International (2016). "Aythya fuligula". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T22680391A86013549. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22680391A86013549.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
- Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 64, 165. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
- Azzi, MayaV; Garrison, RyanJ. "Aythya fuligula (tufted duck)". Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved 2020-09-25.
- Ogilvie, Malcolm A. (1986). "Tufted Duck". In Lack, Peter (ed.). The Atlas of Wintering Birds in Britain and Ireland. London, UK: T & AD Poyser. p. 110. ISBN 978-1-4081-3828-1. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
- Tufted Ducks video from Gallery of Living Nature.
- BirdLife species factsheet for Aythya fuligula
- "Aythya fuligula". Avibase.
- "Tufted duck media". Internet Bird Collection.
- Tufted duck photo gallery at VIREO (Drexel University)
- Interactive range map of Aythya fuligula at IUCN Red List maps
- Audio recordings of Tufted duck on Xeno-canto.