Tufted Duck

Aythya fuligula

The Tufted Duck, ''Aythya fuligula'', is a medium-sized diving duck with a population of close to one million birds.
Tufted Duck - male, Amsterdamse Waterleiding Duinen, Netherlands Last March for our anniversary we paid a visit to the Amsterdamse Waterleiding Duinen, a sort of natural park at the coast that has both recreational paths as well as some no-go natural areas. Within the Netherlands it is best known for its foxes. When seeing a top fox photo from the Netherlands, there's a good chance it's made here. Many photographers fail to mention the "making of", the fact that these foxes are close to being domesticated. They are very used to people and occasionally have been lured/fed, which means they can be somewhat reliably seen and get within touch distance. Such as the first time I visited, and almost tripped over one:
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/20602/fox_at_amsterdamse_waterleiding_duinen.html
The park is known locally for a second reason: the deer problem. Due to a lack of predators (a nation-wide problem), there's no check on population growth which has led to overpopulation. Which in turn leads to public outcries on how cruel it is to shoot them. This raging debate applies to all our little snippets of semi-nature, there's no real space for a true wild.

Anyway, back on topic. The Tufted Duck is named after its tuft, which both sexes have yet is larger and more explicit in the male. These ducks are highly specialized in water-feeding, they can dive down for long periods of time and their feet are positioned so far back as to optimize for diving and swimming upstream. As a result, they kind of suck at walking on land.

https://www.jungledragon.com/image/79760/tufted_duck_-_two_males_amsterdamse_waterleiding_duinen_netherlands.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/79761/tufted_duck_-_two_females_amsterdamse_waterleiding_duinen_netherlands.html AWD,Amsterdamse Waterleiding Duinen,Aythya fuligula,Europe,Netherlands,Tufted Duck,World,the Netherlands

Appearance

The adult male is all black except for white flanks and a blue-grey bill. It has an obvious head tuft that gives the species its name.
The adult female is brown with paler flanks, and is more easily confused with other diving ducks. In particular, some have white around the bill base which resembles the scaup species, although the white is never as extensive as in those ducks.

The only duck which is at all similar is the drake North American Ring-necked Duck, which however has a different head shape, no tuft and greyish flanks.

The Tufted Duck is one of the species to which the ''Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds'' applies.
kuifeend    tufted duck      aythya fuligula By the white flanks on an otherwise black plumage, the male tufted duck a striking bird. The female is dark brown plumage with a less conspicuous. When the male is clearly a black tuft of drooping feathers visible when the female is considerably shorter this crest. Tufted duck is easy to be confused at first sight with the stopper. Although the female tufted duck sometimes has a white spot round the beak base, lacking the broad white ring that is always present in the female of the topper. To distinguish male tufted duck is because the crest at the top is missing and because the top is gray instead of black back.

Distribution

The Tufted Duck breeds widely throughout temperate and northern Eurasia. It occasionally can be found as a winter visitor along both coasts of the United States and Canada. It is believed to have expanded its traditional range with the increased availability of open water due to gravel extraction, and the spread of freshwater mussels, a favourite food. These ducks are migratory in most of their range, and winter in the milder south and west of Europe, southern Asia and all year in most of the United Kingdom. They will form large flocks on open water in winter.
The Chase, coot shows no tolerance This tufted duck had a hard time escaping from the wrath of a nesting Coot. Aythya fuligula,Coot,Geotagged,Spring,Tufted Duck,United Kingdom,chase,splash,spray

Habitat

Their breeding habitat is close to marshes and lakes with plenty of vegetation to conceal the nest. They are also found on coastal lagoons, the seashore, and sheltered ponds.
Tuftie Tufted Duck from Tveitevatnet, Bergen, Norway, May 2014. Aythya fuligula,Bergen,Birds,Duck,Geotagged,Norway,Tufted Duck

Food

These birds feed mainly by diving, but they will dabble. They eat molluscs, aquatic insects and some plants and sometimes feed at night.

References:

Some text fragments are auto parsed from Wikipedia.

Status: Least concern
EX EW CR EN VU NT LC
Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionChordata
ClassAves
OrderAnseriformes
FamilyAnatidae
GenusAythya
SpeciesA. fuligula