The ferruginous duck, additionally ferruginous pochard, common white-eye or white-eyed pochard, scientific name Aythya nyroca is a medium-sized diving duck from Eurosiberia.
Ferruginous duck Profile
The scientific name is derived from Greek aithuia an unidentified seabird talked about by authors together with Hesychius and Aristotle, and nyrok, the Russian name for a duck.
Their breeding habitat is marshes and lakes with a meter or more water depth. These geese breed in southern and eastern Europe and southern and western Asia. They are considerably migratory, and winter farther south and into north Africa.
Ferruginous Duck is a more and more uncommon customer to Britain and Ireland from the Continent and a great discovery on any native patch.
Although comparatively distinctive in look, it may be ignored amongst rafts of Tufted Duck and Common Pochard, and the potential of hybrids and escapes additionally must be thought-about.
The Ferruginous Duck is, without doubt, one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.
The breeding range of the ferruginous duck is from Iberia and the Maghreb east to western Mongolia, south to Arabia, though within the west is now scarce and localized and domestically extirpated in some countries.
The Ferruginous duck winters all through the Mediterranean Basin and the Black Sea, smaller numbers migrate into sub-Saharan Africa through the Nile Valley. Eastern birds winter in the south and south-east Asia.
Ferruginous duck Description
The breeding male is a wealthy, darkish chestnut on the head, breast, and flanks with contrasting pure white undertail coverts. In-flight the white stomach and underwing patch is seen. The females are duller and browner than the males. The male has a yellow eye and the females have a darkish eye.
The adult male is a wealthy chestnut color with a darker back and a yellow eye. The pure white undertail helps to differentiate this species from the considerably comparable Tufted Duck. The feminine is comparable however duller and with a darkish eye.
These are gregarious birds, forming giant flocks in winter, usually combined with different diving geese, akin to Tufted Ducks and Pochards.
In all plumages, Ferruginous Duck is actually darkish brown or reddish-brown with white undertail coverts. Males are brighter and more richly toned, showing more reddish or with deep chestnut or mahogany hues, particularly in brilliant daylight.
Females are darker and duller however might also appear reddish tinged in good light, whereas juveniles are dullest brown total.
Broad white wing-bars throughout the secondaries and primaries are putting in flight, as are white underwings and (in adults) bellies.
Adult males are distinctively white-eyed, whereas females and juveniles have browner eyes that seem darkish at any distance. The head form is fairly peaked and the longish bill is gray, turning into paler behind a black nail.
The chance of confusion with feminine and particularly juvenile Tufted Duck, and with sure hybrids, is the main danger. Tufted Duck sometimes exhibits not less than a touch of a tuft in these plumages, and more usually than not an apparent short tuft on the hind crown.
This could also be flattened in birds which can be diving repeatedly, nonetheless, or not seen in any respect when they’re asleep.
Some Tufteds additionally present white under tail coverts, additional recalling Ferruginous Duck, and occasional females can seem more warmly toned than the everyday darkish earth-brown hues of this species.
The barely shorter white wing-bar (not extending to the outermost primaries), squarer head form, yellow iris, and completely different bill pattern ought to assist separate most problematic Tufteds.
A larger danger comes from hybrids, particularly Common Pochard × Ferruginous Duck, but in addition Tufted Duck × Ferruginous Duck. Presumably, back-crosses between hybrids and all three species additionally happen.
Ferruginous duck Habitat
The ferruginous duck prefers fairly shallow contemporary waterbodies with wealthy submerged and floating vegetation with dense stands of emergent vegetation on the margins.
In some areas, it is going to use saline or brackish pools or wetlands. On passage and wintering can even frequent coastal waters, inland seas, and huge, open lagoons.
These birds feed primarily by diving or dabbling. They eat aquatic crops with some mollusks, aquatic bugs, and small fish. They usually feed at night and can upend (dabble) for meals in addition to the more characteristic diving.ts, crustaceans, and pond vegetation.
Ferruginous duck Appearance
Appearances in Britain may be difficult by occasional ‘fence-hoppers’ from collections. The species is common in captivity and breeds readily, and a penchant for escaping in western Europe is evidenced by confiding or color-ringed people at giant.
A color ring is just not mechanically damning of origin, as there are three tasks in Spain the place birds are marked with white rings.
However, a reintroduction program in northwest Germany makes use of yellow rings, and that is now identified to be the source of three people who put in a protracted current keep at Dinton Pastures Country Park, Berkshire.
As some collections additionally mark their birds with color rings (usually uncoded), you will need to attempt to verify the presence of a hoop and any code.
Ferruginous duck Behavior
These are gregarious birds, however much less social than different Aythya species however the place common it may kind of giant flocks in winter, usually combined with different diving geese, akin to tufted geese and common pochards.
Forms pairs from January onwards and through courtship the male usually curls his tail in order that it dips into the water forming a triangular white patch of the undertail coverts.
In areas the place it’s common it is going to kind colonies at protected sites akin to islands, usually in affiliation with gulls. Where scarce it nests singly, in dispersed and hid sites.
Eggs are laid from the end of April or early May in a nest which is sited on the ground near water, or generally a floating nest is constructed amongst emergent vegetation. The eggs are incubated for 25–27 days and the fledging interval is 55–60 days.
These birds feed primarily by diving or dabbling. They eat aquatic crops with some mollusks, aquatic bugs, and small fish. They usually feed at night and can upend (dabble) for meals in addition to the more characteristic diving.
Ferruginous duck Breeding
The species’ giant however considerably fragmented breeding range extends from central, eastern, and south-eastern Europe by way of Turkey and components of the Middle East to Central Asia and China.
In the Mediterranean there are remoted breeding pockets westwards to Spain, the place it is rather uncommon, and likewise from Libya to Morocco; it sometimes breeds in France. Its winter range is more intensive, however, it’s nonetheless absent from a lot of northwest Europe.
Ferruginous duck Conservation
The species is threatened by the degradation and destruction of its favored habitats by anthropogenic causes that are very extensive and various together with an impoundment, drainage, air pollution, and mismanagement.
The introduction of non-native species has additionally induced habitat degradation, e.g. the stocking of lakes with and unintended introduction of grass carp Ctenopharyngodon idella has induced reductions in plant and animal biomass accessible for the geese to feed on.
In addition, the elevated menace of drought because of local weather change might pose a menace to the species within the drier components of its range.
Increased disturbance by fishing boats and anglers amongst marginal vegetation might trigger abandonment of the breeding sites or disrupt the timing of breeding significantly in populated areas, e.g. western Europe.
Ferruginous geese are additionally threatened by searching and huge numbers are shot on a passage within the autumn and within the wintering areas.
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