Pink-headed duck

   ›      ›   Pink-headed duck - Rhodonessa caryophyllacea.

The pink-headed duck (Rhodonessa caryophyllacea) was a medium sized diving duck belonging to the family Anatidae.

The pink-headed duck species was distributed in India, Bangladesh and Myanmar.

Taxonomy of Pink-headed duck

  • Scientific Name: Rhodonessa caryophyllacea
  • Common Name: Pink-headed duck
  • French: Nette à cou rose; German: Rosenkopfente; Spanish: Pato cabecirrosado;
  • Other names: Anas caryophyllacea Latham, 1790;
  • Family: Anatidae › Anseriformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Species author: (Latham, 1790)
Rhodonessa caryophyllacea was previously included in the genus Anas. The pink-headed duck species is considered closely related to the red-crested pochard (Netta rufina).


The pink-headed duck was a medium sized bird, measuring 60 cm in length and weighing 800 to 1000 grams.

It had a long neck and the head and most of the neck were deep pink. The plumage on the fore neck and rest of the body was deep brown. The bill was rosy. The females were dull brown colored.
Indian birds - Pink-headed duck - Rhodonessa caryophyllacea
Indian birds - Pink-headed duck - Rhodonessa caryophyllacea


These bird species inhabited lowlands, ponds, swamps and marshes with dense vegetation.

Feeding habits

These bird species might have fed on aquatic invertebrates, aquatic plants and vegetation.


These duck species might have bred during summer months. The eggs of these birds were nearly spherical.


The pink-headed duck was recorded to occur in eastern India, Bangladesh and northern Myanmar.

Movement Patterns

These duck species were resident birds in the areas of their distribution. They might have taken local movements in search of feed.

Status and conservation

The last recorded observation of pink-headed duck in wild was in 1949. Even the captive birds also existed around the same time. There were reports of unconfirmed sightings in Kachin State, Myanmar. Several surveys had been done to confirm its existence.

A. W. Tordoff et al. concluded in their study that "On balance, therefore, there are several reasons for believing that Pink-headed Duck may still persist in the lowlands of Kachin state and, perhaps, elsewhere in Myanmar.Hunting and habitat degradation were the main reasons in losing these bird species.

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

Biological classification of Rhodonessa caryophyllacea
Species:R. caryophyllacea
Binomial name:Rhodonessa caryophyllacea
Distribution: was present in Indian Subcontinent and Myanmar;
Feeding habits:possibly aquatic vertebrates, aquatic plants, roots, tubers, shoots, seeds, grains and weeds;
IUCN status listing:
Critically Endangered

Popular posts in Birds of India

Image source:
Author: Hume and Marshall | Public domain
Current topic in Birds of India: Pink-headed duck - Rhodonessa caryophyllacea.
Contact State Tourism or travel agents for bird watching and wildlife tours.