Tufted duck

diving duck

About the bird

length- 16-18"

average weight- Male 1.68 lbs Female-1.57 lbs

kingdom- chordate

class-aves

order- Anseriforms

family-Anatidae

Genus- Aythya

wingspan- 65-72 cm

scientific name-Aythya fuligula

Physical Description

What I find most interesting about the ducks are the physical features. Tufted ducks are also known as part if the diving ducks family. You can distinguish these birds between other birds of the anatidae family by noticing the tuft located on the back of the head. On a male the tuft is usually black and more noticeable than on females, which the tufts are brown in color. The birds that are a solid black color with a white underbelly and bright yellow eyes and a sometimes matted down tuft are known as the adult male. The adult female birds have a brownish color with bright yellow eyes and a less prominent tuft, sometimes no tuft at all. as for the young ducklings or juvenile ducks, they seem to look like the adult females. the only difference is that the juvenile ducks are not as vibrant in color and have a less pronounced tuft. I find this most interesting because these ducks are so plan and unusual that the just catch your eye. The jet black color of there feathers and the bright florescent yellow eyes makes them stand out among other species of ducks. This is what over caught my attention and was, in my opinion, the most interesting part of the tufted duck.

Habitat

During the breeding season the ducks spend most of their time in shallow lakes for perching and preening. In the winter months they can be located by large bodies of water such lakes, marshes, and man-made ponds. they can be only be found along rivers during their migration periods.

Repoduction

Adult birds are monogamous, which breed once a year, they find a mate in the spring and form a bond and stay with that mate until late June early July. The breeding season is between late winter and the spring months. The average eggs per season for the ducks are around 9-10 eggs. The average time for the eggs to hatch are usually 26-27 days. females take care of the young when they are first born then after they learn how to dive, which takes an average of 48 hours, the ducks are on there own. The male ducks help out indirectly by taking care of the female while in the process of laying the eggs.

Food Habits

The ducks are omnivores which eat both plants and animals. Their main source of food are molluscs, but they also consume amphibians,fish and insects. As for the plant life they consume leaves, roots and tubers, seeds, grains, and nuts; bryophytes.