Tufted Duck

Aythya fuligula




Ducks, Geese and Swans (Anatidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Yellow, brown or green.

Number of Eggs:

7 - 10

Incubation Days:

23 - 28

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

On ground.

Nest Material:

Grass lined with down.





Tufted Duck: Medium-sized diving duck with long black crest and dull black back and tail. Underparts and sides are bright white. Head, neck and breast are black with a purple sheen. Wings are black with dark-edged broad white stripes visible in flight. Yellow eyes; legs and feet are gray. Female is brown overall with darker breast, paler sides, white belly, small crest and black-tipped gray bill. Juvenile resembles female but is duller. Eclipse male resembles breeding male but lacks purple sheen on head, neck and breast and has gray-washed sides.

Range and Habitat

Tufted Duck: Breeds across Eurasia from Iceland and the British Isles east across Russia and Siberia to the Kamchatka Peninsula and the Commander Islands; breeding has not been reported in North America. They are casual visitors on northern coasts of Canada and the United States during migration. Found in large lakes and bays.

Breeding and Nesting

Tufted Duck: Seven to ten yellow, brown, or green eggs are laid in a small ground hollow lined with grass and down, usually hidden in reeds or under bushes near water. Incubation ranges from 23 to 28 days. Young start to fly at 45 to 50 days.

Foraging and Feeding

Tufted Duck: They dive from the surface, usually to depths of six to ten feet, to feed on the roots, seeds and buds of aquatic plants, clams, snails, aquatic insects and sometimes amphibians and small fish. They also skim flies and duckweed on the water's surface. They launch themselves slightly out of the water to help submerge their bodies underwater while foraging in shallow water.


Tufted Duck: Emits a low whistle during courtship, and males will quietly utter "buck buck buck".

Similar Species

Tufted Duck: Casual vagrant. Other similar species lack the tuft on the back of the head.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

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.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X