Wild Duck Pochard - Waterfowl Features


In ornithology, there are several points of view on the systematics of the genus (tribe) dives. In the modern classification of Anseriformes, proposed in 2004 by Russian ornithologists Yevgeny Koblik and Yaroslav Redkin, to the tribe Netta (dives) are ranked:

  • Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina),
  • red-eyed dive (Netta erythrophthalma),
  • pampas dive (Netta peposaca).

To the Aythyini tribe (to blacken):

  • Red headed pochard (Aythya ferina),
  • American Red-headed Pochard (Aythya americana),
  • White-eyed Pochard (Aythya nyroca),
  • Baer dive (Aythya baeri).

Red-crested Pochard

The red-nosed or red dive is a rather large bird. The weight of the drake meat carcass reaches 800 g. Due to the quality of the meat, the red dive has commercial value. It nests in the steppe and semi-desert zone from the Mediterranean to East Turkestan.

On the Russian territory distributed:

  • in the Volga region
  • Urals and the Urals,
  • in Mordovia,
  • in the Altai foothills.
  • During winter migration occurs in Western Siberia, the Moscow region. Thousands of flocks winter in Issyk-Kul, the southern shores of the Caspian Sea and Azov.

The main "trick" of the drake's marriage suit is the ocher-red head and upper part of the throat, bright red-pink paws and beak, the base of the neck black with glitter, chest and belly, brown-brown back. On the head is a small fluffy plume. Little brown ducks differ from relatives in light cheeks and a red “band” on a black beak.

The red-necked dive is a strong and large bird.

Red dives fly easily, long noisy. They are able to make long-distance flights without rest. From the water rise hard. In flight above the water surface, they are closer to it, and above the ground they climb higher into the sky.

Interesting! They are related to river ducks by a high landing on water, the ability to walk smartly and even run over land. In addition, the red-nosed ones do not dive for food, but turn upside down, raising the tail and paws above the water.

They spend more time than other dives on the shore. Drakes are laconic, even in the mating season they just whistle softly. Ducks caw "Kerr, Kerr" rather than quack.

Red-headed dives reach sexual maturity at the age of two years. During the marriage ritual, drakes in flight fluff the plumage on the head, circling around the ducks on the shore. On the water, they demonstrate the usual duck ritual - they stick out their chests, bow, whistle.

The ducks of the red-nosed dive are less elegant than the drakes.

Diving nests are arranged on vegetative islands floating in the center of a pond or in coastal thickets, on heaps of last year's cane, on hummocks. In the nest is usually 6-9 grayish or brown olive eggs. Hatching lasts 28 days. Red-nosed birds are shy and cautious, at the first danger of a duck leaving the nest, leaving the clutch.

Red-eyed dive

The second name of the red-eyed dive is southern. It reflects the geography of the distribution of birds: Latin America, South and Central Africa. Red-eyed dive prefers to nest on freshwater bodies. Leads the way of life.

The iris of the eyes of the red-eyed dive is scarlet.

These are small birds, up to 50 cm long. Plumage of different shades of chocolate: the back is rich dark chocolate color with a reddish tint. Abdomen and sides of a lighter tone. The drapes have a red cap on the head, and the chest shimmers violet. The iris is a characteristic red color, from which, in fact, the specific name originated.

Pampas dive

Pampas dive refers to the endemic species of Latin America and the Falkland Islands. Loves the lightly salted water of lakes, gulfs, lagoons. Pampas teal is a very beautiful bird. The back and wings of a dark ash-blue color, the wings are bordered with white. The abdomen is light gray, almost white. Head, neck, chest black. At the top of the wide white-gray beak is bright red, the tip of the nose is black.

Pampas dive - duck, which can be found in zoos.

Despite the geographical remoteness, the habits of the pampas birds very much resemble our red-nosed divers. They feed from the surface of the water, graze on the shore. Pampas duck lays up to 12 eggs. Hatching clutch alone, without the help of a male, for 27-29 days.

Red-headed Pochard or Blue Duck

Red headed pochard belongs to commercial-economic species, is found in Europe, Algeria, Tunisia.

In the territory of the Russian Federation nests:

  • in the Arkhangelsk, Leningrad, Pskov regions,
  • on the Solovki and Commander Islands,
  • Kuril ridge,
  • in Bashkortostan,
  • southern areas of Udmurtia,
  • along the shores of the Northern Dvina, Yenisei, Angara, Lower Tunguska, Baikal.
The red-headed dive is a great swimmer and diver.

Red-headed diving birds of medium size, the weight of the drakes reaches 800-1000 g. The duck is brownish-red, with a lighter plumage tone on the sides, neck, at the base of the beak. The “front” part of the head is dark brown. Neck, goiter and sides are buff brown, abdomen dirty white.

The head and neck of the drake, "dressed in a wedding attire" ocher-red, often with a purple-red glimmer, Shoulders, the front part of the chest, goiter - black. The plumage of the back is bluish-gray with small transverse “trickles”, the colors are darker closer to the tail. Nadkhvoste black. The beak is gray-blue with a darker apex.

Interestingly, the following breeds of ducks tend to synchronize the flapping of wings in flight:

The timing of the maturity of red-headed dives is not precisely established. Marriage games begin during the migration and continue upon arrival at the nesting sites. Having immersed the beak in the water, the wick swims in circles in the company of several males, periodically hoarsely “croaking”.

The drakes of red-headed dives carefully look after their pair.

The drakes inflate their necks, throw their heads on their backs, bending their beak wide open vertically and accompanying their dance with a low whistle. Then the head is thrown sharply forward, the neck is pulled out horizontally, the bird inhales the air with a hoarse cough "Ikk-Ikk-koo." The ritual is continued by circular movements of the drakes around the female and the competing males with the maximum lifted up or with the horizontally extended neck.

Interesting! After creating a pair, drakes do not leave the girlfriend before the hatching begins.

Diving nests are located on reed islets-floats or in thickets. In laying there are from 7 to 15 eggs. Initially, green-bluish eggs after some time become brown-olive. The female on the nest closely admits the man and often breaks straight into the water, pretending to be a wreck.

After 24-26 days chicks hatch. Day they dry in the nest, then go to the water. Two or three day puffy dives already dive and independently find food. At two months, the chicks fully fled and stand on the wing.

Ducklings of the red headed dive are able to obtain food on the second day after hatching.

The flight of the red-headed dives is swift, noisy. From the water, the bird usually rises against the wind. Landing on the water is deep. She dives deeply and often. On the North American continent, an independent species is common - the American red-headed dive. On the territory of Russia, it practically does not occur.

White-eyed dive

The white-eyed dive, called the white-eyed and chernushka, lives mainly in Spain, France, Germany, Poland, Albania, Romania, Ukraine, Turkmenistan. It is found in the south of the European part of Russia, in southern Siberia, in the foothills of the Altai.

White-eyed - medium-sized bird with a rusty-chestnut head. The average weight of 400-500 g. Beak is shorter and narrower than other dives. A distinctive feature of the drakes is the white color of the iris, dark belly. White-eyed ducks have the most delicious meat among dives.

To meet the white-eyed dive is a real luck for the hunter.

Bars dive

Baer dive (Baer dive or eastern white-eyed dive) is named after the naturalist and one of the authors of the comparative anatomy of academician Karl Baer.

It has a narrow distribution area:

  • Ussuri river basin
  • Ussuro-Khanka plain,
  • Zeya estuary,
  • Transbaikalia,
  • Manchuria.
  • It is found in Korea, Japan, China.

The anatomical structure and appearance are similar to the white-eyed dive, but smaller - the average weight is 300-400 g. They differ from other dives by a more massive skull.

In the drakes during the mating period, the head and neck are black with green tint. On cheeks red spots. White mark on chin. The back and nadhvoste black, without shine. Eyes are white or light yellow. The ducks are reddish-brown with black crown and nape.

Baer dive has an unusually bright for duck plumage.

Baer divers have a peculiar mating ritual. Circular flight drakes around one place, accompanied by quiet cries. He was first described in the diaries of the Ussuri expedition by the Russian traveler Nikolai Mikhailovich Przhevalsky.

Attention! There are few and contradictory information about the clutch, breeding features, nests, feed base. It is known for certain that small frogs constitute a large part of the diet, which is why meat of birds wintering in India is considered inedible.

Diving Feeds

The diet of diving depends on habitat, season and species preferences. For the most part, dives follow a mixed feed. Their menu includes feed of plant and animal origin.

Duck dives feed on what can be harvested from the bottom of the reservoir.

In the stomachs of diving find:

  • foliage, shoots, seeds and roots of aquatic plants,
  • larvae of aquatic insects, beetles, dragonflies, scuds,
  • mollusks,
  • small amphibians, tadpoles, leeches,
  • grains of wild cereals,
  • seaweed,
  • small crustaceans.

In a small video you can see the red-nosed dive in the park pond:

Appearance, food features

A distinctive feature of diving ducks is a large head, planted on a short, slightly thickened neck. All kinds of medium-sized, squat, move along the ground with difficulty, due to short legs. The duck dives perfectly swims, dives to a depth of 60 cm, remaining without air for several minutes. It takes off after a preliminary run, flight in a straight line does not last long.

Species belonging determines the colorful plumage of ducks, a variety of photos reflect the beauty of wonderful birds. Bright outfit adorns, as a rule, drakes. Females are content with more modest "attire". There are the following species of ducks diving:

  • blackening
  • gogols,
  • pompas ducks,
  • marble teals
  • dives,
  • pink-headed ducks.

Diving ducks are monogamous, but the marriage union does not last long. After laying eggs drakes leave the female. Duck nests form on the bumps, in the hollows of fallen trunks, in the reed beds. The female lays eggs of a light greenish shade, in an amount up to 10 pieces. Due to crowded nesting, masonry is often shuffled.

The diet of wild ducks is quite varied: they feed on small crustaceans, fish, mollusks, algae. They produce food, diving to a considerable depth, which determined the name of the genus.

Attention! Diving ducks are considered valuable game birds, but its meat has a specific smell. It requires special treatment: the game is boiled twice, draining water. Processed meat is ready for cooking culinary dishes.

Features of various kinds

Netta duck ducks are medium in size, with a low constitution. According to the modern classification proposed by Russian ornithologists, they include 3 types:

Red-nosed ducks are represented by rather large individuals, their weight reaches 1, 6 kg. The drakes have a spectacular color of feathers: an orange head, black breast, and scarlet beak contrasts with a beige back background. The head is decorated with fluff plume. Habitat for red-nosed ducks - Portugal, Spain, the Mediterranean coast, in Russia are found in the Volga region. They fly well, capable of prolonged exposure to air. They spend most of their time on the shore, dive badly, prefer to collect food from the surface of the water surface, often turn their heads upside down, lifting their webbed feet and tail above the lake.

Red-eyed divers are also called southern divers, which reflects the area of ​​their distribution - areas of Central Africa, Latin America. For these birds is characterized by small weight, they are collected in small flocks. Males of ducks are dominated by a bright feather color: breast in violet tones, head black, back of beige-brown shade. The iris is a rich scarlet color that determined the specific name.

One of the most beautiful species of wild ducks is the pampas dive that lives in Latin America, off the coast of Argentina. They prefer the lightly salted water of sea lagoons, lakes, and straits. Pampas ducks, according to the description of ornithologists, are distinguished by colorful plumage. Gray wings are bordered with white; a white beak with a red base and a black tip stands out against a black breast and head. In their diet, they are dominated by plant foods - algae, reed shoots, and various seeds.

Genus to blacken: species characteristic

The ducks of the genus blacken stocky structure, large head, wide beak. Stand out with a white stripe running along the side of the wings. Ornithologists distinguish 5 varieties of blackening:

  • polar duck,
  • crested
  • redhead
  • white-eyed
  • Baer duck

Redhead blacken spread over large areas. It is found in Europe, Algeria, in Bashkortostan, on the shores of Lake Baikal, Angara, Yenisei. Males reach a weight of about 1200 g, the weight of females is slightly less. In the mating season, the drake acquires an original look - the bright red head contrasts favorably with the mother-of-pearl-gray feathering of the back. The inconspicuous plumage of the female, sustained in brownish-gray tones, allows her to hide from predators.

White-eyed ducks are found off the coast of Australia, on the island of Java. Whitish iris males identified the name of the species. They are characterized by beautiful plumage in chocolate-brown tones with modulations, narrow, short beak.

A rare species are Baer ducks living in Japan, Korea, in the Ussuri river basin, in Transbaikalia. They prefer to settle in areas overgrown with reeds. The attractive appearance of Baer ducks is due to the beautiful plumage - the head is black with an emerald shimmer, brown wings with a wide white border.

The vast population of diving ducks is represented by bright, unusual, interesting waterfowl, bringing beauty to the nature of the planet.

Wild duck species

Despite the urbanization that captures small villages, local authorities are trying to preserve and refine the landscape created by nature. Lakes and erici clean the dirt, strengthen the coast, landscaped recreation areas. Unfortunately, such ponds do not always attract birds.

Increasingly, the birds leave them and settle on man-made lakes, despite the fact that the area is considered unfavorable for the habitat of animals, birds and fish. Lakes are usually abandoned, people are not there, no one is disturbed by waterfowl. Ducks are accustomed to the peculiar flora and fauna of man-made waters.

Many bird populations have changed their habitat. Ornithologists observe a unique phenomenon. Individuals of some populations of wild birds began to settle in zoos, mastering urban ponds and rivers. What are the ducks left on the lakes of Moscow region and Moscow?

Experts note that the most common in the reservoirs has become a mallard. Livestock accounts for more than 90% of all wild species of ducks. The population has not changed its numbers for many years. Mallard can be found in almost all ponds of the Moscow region. She gets used to people well, takes food from them.

The bird is commercial, but experienced hunters warn that the mallard, which lives on man-made lakes, should not be hunted. Her meat has an unpleasant smell. Some traders smiles luck. They come across a duck with good meat. On the forums, hunters joke that if the mallard has odorless meat, then, most likely, it is migratory, it turned out to be accidental on a pond near Moscow.

Ornithologists have noted large populations of ogary. They also left the usual swampy reservoirs, which were outside the city. Especially numerous were the flights of ogaras in 2008. Bird from their homes moved to zoos. The population found the local conditions favorable.

It remained bird livestock in zoos for long. In 2015, a new wave of duck migration is celebrated, but now to urban ponds. They adapted to the noise, aquatic vegetation of small reservoirs. Now red ducks successfully breed and delight the eye of visitors.

Specialists are seeing another trend, which has become noticeable since 2017. Diving species of ducks began to move from settling ponds, where industrial enterprises dump their waste. Among them, red-headed pochard and blackened crested. They explore lakes in reserves and landscaped ponds near Moscow. The birds found that there was no danger in the reservoirs.

Diving ducks are not commercial. Their meat has a strong smell of fish. It is not suitable for food. The chernites not only moved to new lakes, but also began to multiply rapidly, increasing their numbers. Red-headed dive adapts to conditions unusual for it. The number of livestock does not increase, but it is good that it remains constant. Большие поселения нырка отмечаются в восточных областях Москвы.

Техногенные озёра покидают чомги. Их ещё называют поганками. В природе они образуют собственное семейство, но в народе их называют утками. У них необычное оперение на голове. Needle feathers are located on the crown, on the back of the head and on the ears, which form tufts and whiskers. Drakes are distinguished by bright plumage in the mating season. The most numerous settlement of toadstools is located in Tsaritsyno.

Strongly reduced its number puzzler. The ducks still remain on man-made reservoirs or on lakes that have remained untouched by man. The number of such reservoirs decreases, and the number of the duck-bearing nobleman decreases. Ornithologists can not yet explain the behavior of birds, why they do not fly away to more favorable conditions. Experts associate this phenomenon with hereditary affection for the nesting site.

Urbanization negatively affected the teal population. On the lakes near Moscow they have not seen for a long time. Teal is one of the smallest ducks of the river species. For their habitat birds choose small forest lakes with rich coastal vegetation. They build nests in the forest, hiding them under the deadwood or in dense bushy plants. Ornithologists cannot explain the reasons for the disappearance of teals.

Where better to watch the ducks?

In the Moscow region distinguish key ornithological territories (CATF). These are territories that are distinguished by a large number of birds. Some of them are nature reserves, visiting there is strictly limited. Ornithologists distinguish KUTRs that are most interesting for bird watching:

  • Mytishchi district, platform "Mark". The place is known as the settlement of black-headed gulls. The ducks of the following species coexist with them: mallard, chomga, sviyaz, coot, tufted duck, red-headed pochard. The neighborhood is dangerous because seagulls can destroy the nests of the ducks, destroying the clutch. At the same time, they shout loudly, seeing the danger. This behavior often saves the lives of ducks,
  • Elk Island Here there are species of ducks, which are rare in the Moscow region. These include the nova, chick-noses, red-necked grebe. In large numbers on forest lakes mallard, coot, sviyaz,
  • Biserovsky lake. During the period of seasonal migration of ducks on the lake, you can see the sea blacken, pintail, peganous, white-eyed dive. On the reservoir settled bird family sviyazey, grebes, mallards,
  • Crane Homeland, in the north of Sergiev Posad. For the ornithologist and just for the average man these are very interesting places. Egrets and gray cranes nest in swampy lakes. Experts try to find settlements of teals, of which there were many. There are a large number of birds. In addition to mallards and pintails, here is a scyphore, gray duck, sea blacken. It is recommended to visit Sergiev Posad in the summer, when a duck on the lake walks his ducklings.
  • Lake Senezh. On the lake settled duck river and diving species. There are small flocks of red-headed dive, crested ebony.
  • Lotoshinsky fish farm. On reservoirs live 2 species of toadstools, black-necked and red-necked. Common mallards, whip, teals, gray duck, turpan, birds diving breed.

Excursions are organized to key ornithological areas, but you can also get there by car. Places are open to the public. Experts warn that one should not approach duck nests, frighten birds, disturb them in any way. Birds can leave their laying or even leave the reservoir.

Despite the fact that the natural wetlands in the suburbs is becoming less and less, the ducks are trying to adapt to the new well-established creeks. The process is difficult, some species of birds have disappeared from Moscow reservoirs, but ornithologists hope that this is a temporary phenomenon. The ducks will return again to the nesting sites, enriching the presence of the Moscow region with their presence.

American redfin pochard

The number of American blackheads is small. There is a small livestock in North America. The bird lives in flocks, occupies a zone of forest-tundra. Blacken can fly from the American continent to the island of Bolshoi Lyakhovsky. It is part of the Novorossiysk archipelago. Here the duck chooses for itself the territory of the state reserve "Ust-Lensky". Birds are found in western Europe. In winter, they migrate to Turkey and northern Africa:

  • Drake's plumage is different from the color of the feather of the female. His body is dark. Wings have a silvery shade. The mirror is formed by white wing feathers with a gray edging,
  • the head and neck are red. The American dive stands out scarlet eyes,
  • beak white. There are dark spots at the base and on the tip,
  • females are completely brown-gray. Males after spring molting are the same,
  • small bird Male weight 800 g, females - 500 g,
  • laying female begins to make in 2 years. She lays 12 eggs. The incubation period is 26 days,
  • ducklings appear with olive down and dark spots. They immediately know how to swim and dive.

The main food of the dive is fish, frogs, fry, crustaceans, mollusks. Before spring and autumn molt, individuals go ashore, where they eat the seeds and leaves of plants. Thus, they replenish your body with vitamins and minerals.

Crested blacken

Crested chernenov live in temperate climates. Its habitat is wide, from Iceland to Japan. Ornithologists have noted numerous flocks in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and China. In winter, birds migrate from Europe to northern Africa, to the shores of the Black and Mediterranean Sea. From Asian countries, birds make flights to the islands of the East China Sea. In Japan, blackening is not migratory. The duck lives and builds nests in quiet sea lagoons with abundant vegetation:

  • medium sized birds. Male weight 1 kg, females 800 g. Plumage in females chocolate color. The iris of the eye is bright yellow or orange. Just look drakes in the spring after the change of feather. In the mating season, they are distinguished by a bright black color plumage. Snow-white they have only wings
  • the crest on the head of the male is long, directed to the back. In females, the crest is almost invisible,
  • early maturing individuals. They form families the very next year,
  • laying consists of 11 eggs. Each weighs no more than 55 grams. The incubation period lasts 28 days. But the curse can begin in 23 days,
  • the bird is commercial.

The nest is blackened by building on the shore, but it does not go far from the reservoir. A duck nest hides in dense vegetation, covers the tray with fluff. Only the female is engaged in the incubation of chicks. If she needs to leave, then she covers the eggs with feathers, laying dry grass on the nest, masking it against the background of other vegetation.

Hunting is open to the crested blacken, but there are other types of ducks that are listed in the Red Book. Among them are red-headed pochard, Baer dive, sea blacken, white-eyed dive. It is necessary to study their description and characteristics in order to be able to distinguish between ducks during fishing.

The crested duck is similar to the marine look of ducks. Sea blacken also has a dark color of feathering, but it does not have a tuft. The body on the back of piebald. The beak is gray with a black dot on the tip. On the beak at the drakes is a black outgrowth. The females are brown, with a growth of a bright white shade on the beak. Duck hunting is prohibited.

Dive baer

This type of duck was named after naturalist K.E. Baer: German by birth, headed the Russian Geographical Society in the 19th century. Investigated Primorsky, Khabarovsk Territory, where he found a colony of ducks with beautiful plumage. It is chocolate colored with a silvery sheen.

The head is in black drakes. The flight feathers forming the mirror are white. Divers have white iris. It stands out against the bright black background of the head plumage. The females are brown-brown, do not differ in brightness.

Ducks feed mainly on plant food, but during mating they eat fry and fish eggs. Often go ashore, where they extract plant food. Family birds form at the age of 2 years. Females build nests in the ground, dig a hole with a diameter of 25 cm. The masonry consists of 13 eggs.

Female chicks hatching. Chicks appear after 30 days. Dive Baer lives in colonies. Duck flocks can coexist with gulls and skuas. Dives have to carefully hide their nests to save them from the ruin of birds of prey.

New Zealand blacken

New Zealand duck diving group representatives are similar to Baer dive, but they are larger in size. Their plumage has a chocolate color; the feather on the back and on the head is darker than on the back and on the abdomen. The head is almost black. The drakes feathers on his head cast green shades. The iris in front of the female is white. In females, it is yellow.

Medium sized bird. Drake weighs 1 kg, females 800 g. At the beginning of the 20th century, the bird was considered commercial, but ornithologists noted a sharp decline in the number of livestock. Currently, the number of individuals is 10 thousand. Hunting them is prohibited.

Ducks live in New Zealand. They find freshwater lakes and swampy water bodies. Some individuals live on mountain rivers. Ornithologists have discovered large colonies at an altitude of 1000 m. Ducks are trying to keep away from birds of other species. Choose a quiet place, away from the settlements.

Ducks build their nests in the ground near the pond. They dig deep holes, cover them with dry grass and feathers. The laying can consist of 8 eggs. Cream-colored shell. The incubation period is 30 days. The chicks have an olive shade of fluff with dark stripes along the body. They know how to swim from birth. After the ducklings stand on their feet and spread their wings, the duck leads them to the reservoir.

Meals blacken produces itself and in the reservoir, and on the shore. Most of the food is made up of seeds of riparian vegetation and algae. During the mating period and during the molt dives catch small animals that live in the reservoir. Ducks are good divers. They hide under the water when they detect danger or to get from the bottom of the crustaceans.

Blackening is often called diving. Indeed, they belong to the diving group, but form their own squad of ducks. Diving is larger in size. Their plumage is bright, motley, their beak is pointed. Externally, the black and diving have some differences, but the ornithologists distribute the individuals into different clan groups.