Tufted Duck
Aythya fuligula

– medium-sized duck, smaller than Mallard
– nocturnal/diurnal migrant
– migrates in pairs or, more regularly, in small to large flocks in formation

BIF847_MPU_PMA2705_110104_tuftduck-1-AD-M_d_leipzig
Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula, M AD BREED
BIF0847, 04/01/2011, Leipzig, Germany, Mathias Putze
– neat black and white with yellow eye and greyish bill
– underwing white with dusky trailing and leading edges
– upperwing largely black with broad white wingbar, which fades to light grey towards wingtip


Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula, M BREED (centre), F AD
BIF2145, 13/01/2018, Rügen, Germany, Roland Neumann
– F dark brown with partly dark flanks
– note different bill pattern in F ranging from all dark (BREED) to largely grey (NBREED)
– both sexes with rather angular head


Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula, F AD
BIF2146, 13/01/2018, Rügen, Germany, Roland Neumann
– when seen shortly or at distance F can resemble M Ferruginous Duck, but note yellowish not white eye, different head shape, larger white belly and missing white vent

BIF848_MPU_I1Q5677_140609_tuftduck-4-AD-M-F_mng_buir-nuur
Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula, M F AD
BIF0848, 09/06/2014, Buir Nuur, Mongolia, Mathias Putze
– often F (third from left) appear less neatly patterned than M
– comparatively short bill and steep forehead

BIF849_MPU_I8Z9684_090729_tuftduck-5-AD-M-F_d_anklam
Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula, M F AD
BIF0849, 29/07/2009, Anklam, Germany, Mathias Putze
– tuft of M not always visible in flight
– wingbar most translucent on secondaries

BIF850_MPU_I8Z9707_090729_tuftduck-2-M_d_anklam
Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula, M AD
BIF0850, 29/07/2009, Anklam, Germany, Mathias Putze
– in summer, the breast appears mottled black and white


Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula, M AD (centre)
Greater Scaup Aythya m. marila, M F AD
BIF2069, 02/01/2018, Rerik, Germany, Roland Neumann
– from below, almost impossible to separate these two species using plumage alone
– note tuft and slightly smaller size and more compact silhouette of Tufted Duck


Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula, M AD (centre)
Greater Scaup Aythya m. marila, M F AD
BIF2068, 02/01/2018, Rerik, Germany, Roland Neumann
– M of Tufted Duck and Greater Scaup are readily identified when upperside is visible

BIF851-1_MPU_I8Z2012_090727_tuftduck-FL_cpoch-FL_d_havelland
Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula
Common Pochard Aythya ferina
BIF0851, 27/07/2009, Havelland, Germany, Mathias Putze
in comparison to Common Pochard:
– darker upperside with more strongly contrasting white wingbar
– shorter and rounder head
– less elongated

BIF858-2_MPU_110224_PMA4164_110224_cpoch-FL_tuftduck-2-M_d_havelland
Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula
Common Pochard Aythya ferina
BIF0858, 24/02/2011, Havelland, Germany, Mathias Putze
– dense flock


Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula
Common Pochard Aythya ferina
BIF1538, 14/12/2014, Rügen, Germany, Mathias Putze

voice: usually nonvocal during migration

comparison species:
Ferruginous Duck
Greater Scaup
Lesser Scaup
Ring-necked Duck

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