A Beautiful Bird “Ferruginous Duck”

A medium-sized diving duck is a ferruginous duck, also the ferruginous pochard, common white-eye, or white-eyed pochard (Aythya nyroca). The wide but somewhat fragmented breeding range of the species extends from central, eastern, and south-eastern Europe through Turkey and parts of the Middle East to Central Asia and China. They’re a little migratory, and they’re wintering further south and into North Africa. The scientific name derives from an unidentified seabird of Greek aithuia described by authors including Hesychius and Aristotle, and nyrok, the Russian name for a duck. The adult male with a darker back and a yellow eye is a rich chestnut color. The pure white under the tail helps to differentiate this species from the Tufted Duck, a little similar. The female is identical but more subdued and has a dark eye. These are gregarious birds which form large winter flocks, sometimes mixed with other diving ducks such as Tufted Ducks and Pochards. The ferruginous duck prefers fairly shallow freshwater bodies with rich submerged and floating vegetation on the margins, with dense stands of emerging vegetation. It will employ saline or brackish pools or wetlands in some areas. Coastal waters, inland seas, and large, open lagoons will also be frequent during the passage and wintering. Some Tufteds also show white under tail coverings, further reminding of Ferruginous Duck, and occasionally females may appear more warmly toned than this species’ typical dark earth-brown hues. The slightly shorter white wing-bar (not extending to the outermost primaries), squarer head shape, yellow iris, and various bill patterns should help to separate the most problematic Tufted.

The Ferruginous Duck is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies. Their habitat for breeding is marshes and lakes, with a depth of one meter or more. The rearing scope of the ferruginous duck is from Iberia and the Maghreb east to western Mongolia, south to Arabia, despite the fact that in the west is presently scant and restricted and privately extirpated in certain nations. The duck winters all through the Mediterranean Basin and the Black Sea, littler numbers relocate into sub-Saharan Africa by means of the Nile Valley. Eastern feathered creature’s winter in the south and south-east Asia. These birds feed mainly by diving or dabbling. They eat aquatic plants with some mollusks, aquatic insects, and little fish. They often feed in the dark and can upend (dabble) for food similarly because the more characteristic diving’s, crustaceans, and pond vegetation. Eggs are laid in a nest that is located on the ground near water from the end of April or early May, or sometimes a floating nest is built between emerging vegetation. The incubation of the eggs takes 25–27 days, and the fledging period is 55–60 days. There is extensive white in the wings, with a wide white bar across the primaries and secondaries offset by dark brown coverings and trailing edge, dark white underwear, and a clean white belly in adults. Ferruginous ducks also are threatened by hunting, and within the autumn and wintering areas, large numbers are shot at passage.