Common Pochard

Aythya ferina

Order

ANSERIFORMES

Family

Ducks, Geese and Swans (Anatidae)

Code 4

COMP

Code 6

AYTFER

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Common Pochard is a medium diving duck that feeds at night. It has a large range of 11.9 million square kilometers, and breeds in marshes and lakes in the United Kingdom, central, eastern, and northern Europe, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia. It winters on lakes, large rivers, and bays in much of Europe, northern Africa, and eastern Africa south to Uganda, southern Asia, parts of the Middle East, the Koreas, and Japan. They also travel in large flocks in cold weather, and are known to interbreed with the Tufted Duck. The Common Pochard dives to feed on plants, mollusks, insects, and small fish. Due to threats from over-hunting and habitat disturbance, the conservation rating for this species is Vulnerable. It has an estimated population of 1,950,000, 2,250,000 individuals.

SUMMARY

Overview

Common Pochard: Medium-sized, colorful diving duck from Eurasia with a rich red-brown head, black breast and tail, and gray body. Dark bill has a pale gray saddle; eyes are red. Feeds on aquatic plants, dives often, sometimes dabbles. Swift direct flight on rapid wing beats. Flies in a V formation.

 

Range and Habitat

Common Pochard: This species breeds throughout much of Europe into Asia; it winters in south and Western Europe. It is a rare visitor to the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands; it is also very rarely recorded in other parts of Alaska. It has once been recorded in southern California. Its preferred habitats include marshes and lakes.

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Common Pochard SONGS AND CALLS

Common Pochard L1

Wheezy whistles and "kil-kil-kil" notes from males displaying to females.

Common Pochard L2

Alarm call descending rattle.

Similar Sounding

Eurasian Wigeon I1

Whistled calls from a male.

Garganey JJ1

Repeated "rrar" calls given by male during "burp" display.


Voice Text

"mew-mew", whee-ough", "keyair", "rrrrrrrr", "squak"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Common Pochard is a gregarious bird, and forms large flocks in winter, often mixed with other diving ducks, such as the Tufted Duck, which they are known to hybridise with.
  • The Common Pochard is one of three species of diving ducks in the genus Aytha.
  • A group of ducks has many collective nouns, including a "brace", "flush", "paddling", "raft", and "team" of ducks.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

RANGE MAP PALAU

About this Palau Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across the Palau islands.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Artist

Samira Belous

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