Red-crested Pochard ( Netta rufina )
Taken at Lake Zurich, Switzerland.
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Information from ‘Wildanimalsonline.com’
The Red-crested pochard is the largest of all pochards. Its size is about 57 cm /22 inches/. It has got rather big oval reddish-brown head with the red bill /drakes/ or brownish /hens/. Their neck and abdomen are dark brown, while there is a white area on both sides. The rest of the body is brown. Their legs and feet are dark. Their plumage may vary during the year. The young is brownish with the dark bill.
Netta rufina is distributed mainly in southern parts of Europe and Asia, but it also can be found in Denmark or in the British Isles. It lives in large lakes and slow flowing rivers. The nest is made from vegetation and placed on the ground.
The sexes live apart from each other, because the male pochard leaves the hen to care for the offspring. The hen usually lays from six to ten cream colored eggs. However sometimes happens that females leave their own nest and lay in another nest. This is the way, how they avoid bringing up their own ducklings.
The young ducklings can fly at the age of 7-8 weeks and are able to breed themselves the following year. The Red-crested pochard feed on small invertebrates, grass and other plants.