The Tufted Duck, also known as Aythya fuligula, is a medium-sized duck that is commonly seen in freshwater lakes, reservoirs, and marshes in Eurasia and North America. It is named after the tuft of feathers on its head that resembles a crest or a tuft.
The male Tufted Duck is easily identifiable as it has a black head and neck with a distinctive white patch on the side of its face. It also has a black back and tail, while its breast and sides are white. The female, on the other hand, has a brownish-black head and a brownish-grey body. Both sexes have bright yellow eyes and a blue-grey bill.
The Tufted Duck is a diving duck that feeds mainly on aquatic plants, insects, and small crustaceans. It dives to great depths and can stay underwater for up to 20 seconds. It feeds mostly during the day and rests on the water surface at night.
In terms of breeding, the Tufted Duck can be found nesting in reed beds or dense vegetation near the water. The female builds the nest using plant material and hides it among the vegetation. She lays around 8-10 eggs and incubates them for about 25-28 days. The ducklings hatch with a covering of down and leave the nest after a few hours. They are able to swim and dive almost immediately and are cared for by the female until they are able to fly and fend for themselves.
The Tufted Duck is a common species and is not currently listed as endangered. However, it is facing threats such as habitat loss, pollution, and hunting. Due to its adaptability and resilience, this species is likely to continue to thrive in its current range as long as its habitat is protected.
Overall, the Tufted Duck is a fascinating bird that has adapted well to its environment. With its striking plumage and distinctive tuft of feathers, it is easy to spot and is a popular sight among birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.