The crested duck, also known as the Argentine crested duck, is a stunning water bird that is found in parts of South America. Its striking appearance makes it a popular choice amongst bird enthusiasts, both in the wild and as a domesticated bird.
The crested duck is a medium-sized bird that measures around 50-60cm in length and can weigh up to 1.5kg. It is characterised by its unique appearance, which includes a prominent feather crest on the top of its head and a bright white ring around its neck. The male and female birds are similar in appearance, although males tend to be slightly larger with a more prominent crest.
In terms of behaviour, the crested duck is typically found in small flocks in both freshwater and marine environments. They are excellent swimmers and divers, capable of diving up to 10m in search of food. The crested duck mainly feeds on plant and animal matter, including aquatic vegetation, seeds, insects, small fish, and crustaceans.
Breeding usually occurs during spring and summer, with the male birds competing for the attention of females. Once a pair has formed, they will build a nest from reed and grass materials in a concealed location near the water. The female will lay around 5-10 eggs, which both parents will take turns incubating until they hatch after around 25-30 days.
Despite being popular with bird enthusiasts and often kept as domesticated birds, the crested duck is still considered to be a species of least concern in terms of conservation status. While habitat loss and hunting have impacted local populations in some areas, the overall global population remains stable.
In summary, the crested duck is a beautiful water bird with a unique appearance and captivating behaviours. Whether you encounter one in the wild or keep one as a pet, it is easy to see why this bird is so popular amongst bird lovers.