- ORDER: Anseriformes
- FAMILY: Anatidae
The Tufted Duck is a diving duck with a little flair—both male and female sport a stylish tassel of feathers at the back of the head. The male's is a dashing curl that echoes the curve of the head and complements his gleaming black-and-white plumage. The female is browner with a shorter, wispier tuft. This common Eurasian species breeds on shallow freshwater lakes, slow rivers, and park ponds. They make short dives to feed on mussels and clams. Wintering birds often form large flocks on both coastal and inland waters. Tufted Ducks regularly stray to North America, where vagrants join scaup and Ring-necked Ducks.More ID Info
- Porrón Moñudo (Spanish)
- Fuligule morillon (French)
- Cool Facts
- Tufted Ducks are voracious in winter, eating up to three times their body weight in mussels in a single day, according to a study in the Netherlands.
- Many birds time their nesting season with the emergence of their insect food. In a study from Scotland, Tufted Ducks laid their eggs just as midge larvae reached their peak on the lake floor. By the time the midges emerged as adults on the lake surface, the ducklings had hatched, ready to feast on them.
- Tufted Ducks lay 8-11 eggs in their own nests, but sometimes also lay eggs in their neighbors' nests. It's fairly common in ducks and is known as "egg dumping." This tactic can result in as many as 22 eggs in a single Tufted Duck nest, with that female caring for all the young after they hatch.
- Tufted Duck is a rare but regular visitor to North America, with records from 30 U.S. states and all 10 Canadian provinces. These vagrants are usually single birds that associate with flocks of scaup or Ring-necked Ducks.