Ferruginous Pochard (male)

Ferruginous Duck  Aythya nyroca


  • Aythya : Greek word for aithuia unidentified seabird mentioned by Aristotle
  • Nyroca : Russian name Nyrok for a duck

Vernacular Names: Sind: Burnu, Burino, Hindi: Kurchiya, Burar mada, Sans: Mallikaksha majjika, Pun: Sunakhi pochad, Ben: Lal bigri, Bhuti hans, Ass: Kali muri, Mani: Irupi, Nepal: Malak, Guj: Tammi, Dholi-ankh, Karchiya, Mar: Nayansari, Te: Tella kanthi chiluva

Distribution in India: Widespread winter visitor across India except South.

Description: Size of 38-42 cm. Chestnut-brown diving duck, with flat forehead but relatively high-peaked crown, conspicuous white under tail-coverts and prominent white wingbar (across secondaries and inner primaries) visible in flight. Male has small white spot on chin, white irides and blue-grey bill with small black nail and pale blue subterminal band; has eclipse plumage, which resembles female, but retains white eyes and white under tail. Female duller, browner with inconspicuous small white spots at base of bill, grey wash to wing stripe and brown eyes; has duller, less-well defined bill pattern with larger dark tip; in eclipse, both sexes have reduced pale bill band, which can be completely lost, thus bill looks uniformly blackish, but some individuals of both sexes retain traces of diffuse pale or restricted subterminal band.

Habitat: It is found in shallow pools and marshes with abundant emergent, floating and shoreline vegetation in breeding season, also frequents saline, brackish or alkaline lakes.

Food Habits: It eats seeds, roots and green parts of aquatic plants; also aquatic invertebrates, worms, molluscs, crustaceans, insects and larvae, amphibians and small fish. Feeds in shallow, by diving, head dipping, upending or dabbling on surface.

Breeding Habits: They breed in Central and South Europe and North Africa during April- July. Monogamous for the season. The nest is made of reed stems, grass and leaves, lined with down, on ground in dense vegetation or in dense reed beds over or near water. They lay a clutch of 8–10 eggs. The incubation period is 25–28 days by female alone. The fledging period is 55–60 days, tended for by female alone.