Common Pochard
Aythya ferina

– medium-sized duck, smaller than Mallard
– probably diurnal migration but strategy not well understood
– local moving small to medium flocks in formation

BIF855_MPU_I8Z5246_100730_cpoch-1-AD-F_hu_hortobagy
Common Pochard Aythya ferina, F BREED
BIF0855, 30/07/2010, Hortobágy, Hungary, Mathias Putze
– F in BREED with all black bill
– flanks brown patterned
– largely white underwing but only primaries with distict dark tips (→ Ferruginous Duck, Tufted Duck)
– resembles F Ferruginous Duck but shows less contrasting and larger light greyish belly

BIF854_MPU_I8Z5076_100730_cpoch-1-AD-F_hu_hortobagy
Common Pochard Aythya ferina, F
BIF0854, 30/07/2010, Hortobágy, Hungary, Mathias Putze
– F in BREED with pale scaly brown back and contrasting grey wings (grey back in NBREED AD F)
– compared to other Aythya sp. with only weakly contrasting light grey wingbar
– dusky trailing edge to the wing comparatively narrow

BIF852_MPU_I8Z5657_100730_cpoch-1-AD-M_hu_hortobagy
Common Pochard Aythya ferina, M AD
BIF0852, 30/07/2010, Hortobágy, Hungary, Mathias Putze
– neatly patterned with rufous head and black breast with sharp border to light grey belly
– underwing whitish exept for dark tipped primaries
– red iris does not stand out against rufous head
– BREED M with usually all dark bill (pale subterminal band in NBREED)

BIF853_MPU_I8Z4898_100730_cpoch-1-AD-M_hu_hortobagy
Common Pochard Aythya ferina, M AD
BIF0853, 30/07/2010, Hortobágy, Hungary, Mathias Putze
– upperwing and back unicoloured light grey, sharply contrasting with black neck
– the typical Aythya wingbar is indistinct, especially in M,
– only primaries have distinctly darker tips
– primary coverts slightly darker grey
– characteristic head shape with gently sloping forehead

BIF856_MPU_I1Q2713_131019_cpoch-FL-M-F_d_wermsdorf
Common Pochard Aythya ferina, M F
BIF0856, 19/10/2013, Wermsdorf, Germany, Mathias Putze
– in AD F the face is usually slightly paler than nape and neck
– IMM birds (2nd and 3rd from right) with darker upperwing and darker brown head and neck
– note variable bill pattern

BIF857_MPU_PMA6509_110530_cpoch-AD-F-M-F_male_female_hybrid-mit-ferduc_mongolia_buir-nuur
Common Pochard Aythya ferina, M F
Common Pochard A ferina X Ferruginous Duck A nyroca hybrid
BIF0857, 30/05/2011, Buir Nuur, Mongolia, Mathias Putze
– hybrid (uppermost to the right) shows intermediate features from both parents; for more detailed description see Ferruginous Duck

BIF851-2_MPU_I8Z2012_090727_tuftduck-FL_cpoch-FL_d_havelland
Common Pochard Aythya ferina (two right-hand and centre)
Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula
BIF0851, 27/07/2009, Havelland, Germany, Mathias Putze
– silhouette appears more elongated than Tufted Duck
– note different head shape

BIF858-1_MPU_110224_PMA4164_110224_cpoch-FL_tuftduck-2-M_d_havelland
Common Pochard Aythya ferina
Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula
BIF0858, 24/02/2011, Havelland, Germany, Mathias Putze
– at distance and against sky not easy to identify in mixed flocks, but note the more elongated structure


Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula
Common Pochard Aythya ferina
BIF1438, 14/12/2014, Rügen, Germany, Mathias Putze
– at greater distance back and upperwing appear uniformly grey


BIF1606, 09/06/2014, Tasch Gai Nuur, Mongolia, Mathias Putze
Common Pochard Aythya ferina
Common Goldeneye Bucephala c. clangula

voice: usually nonvocal during migration

comparison species:
Red-crested Pochard
Ferruginous Duck

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