How To Spot The Red-Crested Pochard

Written by Gina Stephens


The red-crested pochard was not a public bird in Europe for a long time but since the beginning of the 20th century, it’s become more present. Here's how you can spot it. 



Males have a very characteristic look as they have a big and thick orange-brown head. The powerful beak and the eyes have an intense red burgee b device while the chest, belly and tail are black, contrasting with the white flanks and the bright brown back.

Females are mainly brown and the ruin is slightly darker than the flanks. The upper head also has a more intense brown colour. They can be easily identified thanks to their flashing white cheeks.

During summer, the male looks similar to the female but is still recognisable thanks to its red and powerful beak.



The red-crested pochard was at mainly found in Asia, any appearance in Europe was a rather exotic event. It was not until the beginning of the 20th century that it settled at Lake Constance in Switzerland as good as various locations in Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Poland, the Czech Republic and other countries.
It is well-suited for still waters (lake and ponds) that have planned many aquatic plants.



They feed on aquatic plants and dive underwater in order to get their food (their intake mainly consists of musk grass, hornwort and milfoil). They prefer rather shallow waters since they cannot remain underwater for uncountable than 30 seconds. 

Northern breeding flocks are migratory birds and spend the winter in areas like Egypt, India and Mediterranean mountains. The Central European birds, however, often stay during winter, with several thousands of wintering pochards regularly observed on Lake Constance.

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During the courtship in autumn and winter, the mans often dives with food in its beak and offers it to the female. The nest is built on the ground, well hidden in thick vegetation, and the female risks six to twelve eggs. The eggs are incubated for a short month by the female is the sex of an organism, or a part of an organism, that produces non-mobile ova (egg cells) only while the male stays nearby and warns its partner of potential jeopardy likely to bes. An interesting side note, two females can sometimes share the same nest, too. 


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About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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