Red-crested pochard

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The red-crested pochard (Netta rufina) is a medium sized diving duck belonging to the family Anatidae.

The red-crested pochard species is distributed in Europe, Asia, Africa and Indian Subcontinent.

Taxonomy of Red-crested pochard

  • Scientific Name: Netta rufina
  • Common Name: Red-crested pochard
  • French: Nette rousse; German: Kolbenente; Spanish: Pato colorado;
  • Other names: Anas rufina Pallas, 1773;
  • Family: Anatidae › Anseriformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Species author: (Pallas, 1773)

Netta rufina was previously included in the genus Anas. It was also placed in genus Rhodonessa. The red-crested pochard species is considered as a link between dabbling ducks (Anatinae) and pochards (Aythyinae).
Indian birds - Red-crested pochard - Netta rufina
Indian birds - Red-crested pochard - Netta rufina


The red-crested pochard is a medium sized bird and the males are slightly larger than the females. The male pochard measures 50 to 60 cm in length and weighs 900 to 1450 grams. The female bird weighs 800 to 1400 grams.

The male had a round reddish-chestnut head, pinkish-reddish bill and black breast. The flanks are white and the back is shades of brown. The tail is black.

The female bird is pale brown with darker back and crown. The face is whitish. A wheezing 'veht' call can be given by the male.


These pochard species inhabit deep fresh or brackish water bodies. They occur in reed-fringed lakes, rivers, lagoons, estuaries, rivers, streams and sheltered coastal habitats.

Feeding habits

These pochard species feed by diving or dabbling. They feed on aquatic plants, roots, shoots, tubers, seeds and grains. They actively feed during early morning and evening.


The red-crested pochard species nest on the ground near the water edge among thick vegetation. They breed from mid-April to early-June. They lay between 8 to 12 pale green eggs.


Breeding populations of these pochard species occur in Europe and Central Asia. These birds winter in the Indian Subcontinent and Africa. The red-crested pochard species were introduced into British Isles and a successful breeding population is established there.

Movement Patterns

The red-crested pochard species are partially migratory. The northern birds migrate to the Indian Subcontinent and Africa for wintering. There is also post-breeding local dispersal.

Status and conservation

The two main threats to this species are habitat degradation and hunting. These birds are hunted in Iran for recreational and commercial purposes. The red-crested pochard species is susceptible to avian influenza.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated these pochard species and has listed them as of "Least Concern".

Biological classification of Netta rufina
Species:N. rufina
Binomial name:Netta rufina
Distribution:Indian Subcontinent, Europe, Asia, Africa;
Feeding habits:aquatic plants, roots, tubers, shoots, seeds, grains and weeds;
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern

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