The adult male is unmistakable. It has a rounded orange head, red bill and black breast. The flanks are white, the back brown, and the tail black. The female is mainly a pale brown, with a darker back and crown and a whitish face. Eclipse males are like females but with red bills.


Habitat and Distribution

This species' breeding habitat is lowland marshes and lakes in southern Europe and Central Asia, wintering in the Indian Subcontinent and Africa. It is somewhat migratory, and northern birds winter further south into north Africa. They are most numerous around areas of England including Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire.


Feeding

The Red-crested pochard feeds mainly by diving or dabbling. They eat aquatic plants, and typically upend for food more than most diving ducks.


Breeding

Red-crested pochards build a nest by the lakeside among vegetation and lay 8-12 pale green eggs.