Common Pochard

Aythya ferina




Ducks, Geese and Swans (Anatidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Green to olive

Number of Eggs:

6 - 12

Incubation Days:


Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

On ground, hidden by vegatation.

Nest Material:

Grass stems and downy feathers.


Some migrate



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. Female has a rust-brown head and neck with darker cap and paler chin and throat, dark brown breast and tail, and gray-brown body; eyes are dark brown. Juvenile similar to female but with mottled underparts.

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.

Breeding and Nesting

Common Pochard: Nest built in depression in thick clump of grass that is well concealed by vegetation. Female incubates six to twelve green to olive eggs for 25 days. Chicks leave the nest upon hatching and make their first flight at 50 to 55 days.

Foraging and Feeding

Common Pochard: Feeds by diving and dabbling for seeds, roots, and green vegetation. May also eat some invertebrates, amphibians, and fish.


Common Pochard: Males are usually silent, but emit wheezing whistles during courtship displays. Females growl and produce other raspy, simple calls.

Similar Species

Common Pochard: Redhead has darker gray plumage, pale bill lacks blue band and black at base and tip. Canvasback is larger and has a sloping profile with all black bill.


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

The upper front part of a bird.
The area on top of the head of the bird.
The area of the face just below the bill.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X