Netta Rufina male is unmistakeable with his flamboyantly red head, white flanks and ridiculously pink bill. The female is subtler, browner in tone with pale cheeks and a dark cap recalling a female Common Scoter but with a longer, slimmer bill and longer, paler body. In flight, Red-crested Pochards of both sexes have a much more extensive white wingbar than any other European duck; all the secondaries and all the primaries look almost completely white in the field, making a stunning sight when seen in a large flock.

Their breeding habitat is lowland marshes and lakes in Turkey and southern and central Asia.

They are somewhat migratory, and northern birds winter further south and into north Africa.

The birds’ status in the British Isles is much confused due to the fact that there have been many escapes and deliberate releases over the years, as well as natural visitors from the continent. However, it is most likely that they are escapees that are now breeding wild and have built up a successful feral population.

Red-crested pochards build a nest by the lakeside among vegetation and lay 8-12 pale green eggs.

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