Common Pochard – Profile | Traits | Facts | Habitat | Breeding

Common pochard

The common pochard, scientific name Aythya ferina is a medium-sized diving duck. The scientific name is derived from Greek aithuia an unidentified seabird talked about by authors together with Hesychius and Aristotle, and Latin ferina, “wild game”, from ferus, “wild”.

Common pochard Profile

The Common pochard is a diving duck and feeds on plant seeds, waterweed, snails, and different aquatic invertebrates below the water’s floor. Most of the birds within the UK come from northern and eastern Europe for the winter, with just some pairs staying to nest.

An uncommon nesting bird, however a lot more common within the winter when it may be present in massive numbers on lakes, reservoirs, flooded gravel pits, and estuaries around the nation.

This species has an especially massive range in each breeding season and in winter and an especially massive population.

New information suggests the population has declined quickly throughout the vast majority of the range, and it has subsequently been uplisted to Vulnerable. Although the species is likely to be anticipated to profit from a discount in eutrophication, this doesn’t seem to have been the case.

Common pochard Distribution and habitat

Their breeding habitat consists of marshes and lakes with a meter or more water depth. Pochards breed in a lot of temperate and northern Europe and throughout the Palearctic. They are migratory and spend winter within the south and west of Europe.

In the British Isles, birds breed in eastern England and lowland Scotland, in small numbers in Northern Ireland with numbers rising step by step, and sporadically within the Republic of Ireland, the place it could even be rising.

While unusual, people are additionally sometimes seen within the south of England, and small populations are generally noticed on the River Thames. Large numbers keep overwintering in Great Britain after the birds retreat from Russia and Scandinavia.

Common pochard Description

A plump, gray diving duck, a male pochard has a chestnut head and a black chest and rear end. The feminine is a darker, duller grey-brown.

The adult male has a long darkish bill with a gray band, a redhead and neck, a black breast, red eyes, and a gray back. The adult feminine has a brown head and body and a narrower gray bill-band.

The triangular head form is distinctive. Pochards are superficially much like the carefully associated North American redhead and canvasback.

Females give hoarse growls. Males have whistles reduce off by a closing nasal notice aaoo-oo-haa.

Common pochard Behavior

These are gregarious birds, forming massive flocks in winter, usually blended with different diving geese such because the tufted duck, with which they’re recognized to hybridise.

These birds feed primarily by diving or dabbling. They eat aquatic vegetation with some mollusks, aquatic bugs, and small fish. They usually feed at night and can up-end for meals in addition to the more characteristic diving.

According to the article ‘Patterns within the diving behavior of the pochard, Aythya ferina: a take a look at of an optimality model’ Pochard’s have a behavioral choice in relation to their feeding patterns.

This behavioral choice is that Pochards choose shallower water compared to deeper water regardless that the focus of the meal in deeper water could also be higher.

common pochard, scientific name Aythya ferina

Common pochard Adaptation

The common pochard Aythya ferina offers an instance of profitable adaptation to a man-made habitat: the fishpond system. Formerly a rare breeder on this ecosystem, this species settled on the end of the nineteenth century in pond complexes of southern Bohemia, and firstly of the twentieth century in eastern France and southern Moravia, a number of many years before a big enhance in fish farming productiveness.

Common pochard Breeding

This large-scale extension of breeding range towards south-western Europe might have been triggered by adjustments within the rainfall regime all through the species’ preliminary strongholds.

The Pochard breeds within the Palearctic, western Europe to north-eastern China between 45°N and about 60°N. In western and southern Europe, it’s present all through the year, however, 4 in any other case extremely migratory. Wintering areas unfold out from western and southern Europe pa
by way of southern Asia to Japan.

In winter, it’s comparatively widespread throughout central and north-western Europe with main concentrations in Germany, France, The Netherlands, and the UK. Other notable concentrations happen in Common Pochard Aythya fenna Switzerland, and in countries around the Black distribution based mostly on the Sahara.

Fairly low numbers of Pochard have been ringed in most countries and the biggest numbers of recoveries are from birds ringed in Switzerland, Britain, and Russia.

common pochard, scientific name Aythya ferina

Most of the recoveries throughout the interval December to February are reported in western and southern Europe, together with Denmark and southern Sweden, in addition to in northwest Africa.

A basic lower in recoveries from Western and Mediterranean Europe are recorded between January and February, changing into more intense in March: return migration continues in Russia within the east till May.

Recoveries from the breeding season (May — June) are spread out from west Europe to about 75°E in Russia.

A powerful focus of recoveries is discovered within the Ob-Irtysh basin, east of the Urals and north of Kazakhstan. The autumn migration begins in August and small numbers of birds are nonetheless present in Russia in October.

Pochards breeding in northern and central Europe migrate to wintering areas in western Europe. Birds breeding in Britain & Ireland are resident or move to the continent, as far south as Spain.

West and central Russian breeders move W to west Europe and Britain and birds breeding in southwest Siberia and Kazakhstan migrate to the Caspian Sea, Black Sea, and west to Italy.

Pochards breeding additional east in Siberia and Central Asia winter in southwest Asia. Molt migration in males happens, however many of them stay and moult close to breeding sites. Several ringing recoveries of Pochards have proven that complex and aberrant actions frequently happen.


In quite a lot of countries, the population of Common Pochard is reducing primarily because of urbanization of the natural habitats and their transformation, in addition to overhunting.

The Common pochard is likely one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

common pochard, scientific name Aythya ferina

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