Thursday, February 5

White-headed duck

   ›      ›   White-headed duck - Oxyura leucocephala.

The white-headed duck (Oxyura leucocephala) belongs to the family Anatidae. The white-headed duck (Oxyura leucocephala) is distributed in Spain, Asia and North Africa. These birds winter in Mediterranean, Middle East, south Asia and northwest India. There is great decline in the population of these ducks due to habitat loss as well as due to interbreeding with introduced species.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) had categorized and evaluated these duck species and had listed them as 'Endangered'.

The white-headed duck is a medium sized bird, measuring 45 to 50 cm in length and weighing 500 to 900 grams. Their wingspan is 60 to 70 cm. They have a short neck and the tail is long and is frequently held cocked. Adult male birds have reddish grey body. The head color is whitish. There is a black cap on the head. The broad bill is bluish. The female birds have a grayish brown color with dark grey bill. The females have a dark head cap and a dark stripe on the cheek.



These ducks inhabit marshes, ponds, lakes and canals. They can dive and swim underwater. They feed on seeds, grains, freshwater vegetation and invertebrates. They breed in the summer months. Their population is estimated to be under 8,000 mature individuals.

Indian birds - White-headed duck - Oxyura leucocephala
Indian birds - White-headed duck - Oxyura leucocephala

Biological classification of Oxyura leucocephala
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Anseriformes
Family:Anatidae
Subfamily:Oxyurinae
Genus:Oxyura
Species:O. leucocephala
Binomial name:Oxyura leucocephala
Distribution: Spain, Asia and North Africa
Feeding habits:grains, plant matter, invertibrates,
IUCN status listing:
Endangered

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Author: Dick Daniels (http://carolinabirds.org/) | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
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