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Bird Sightings : Hebrides : Tufted Duck

Hebrides Bird Sightings : Tufted Duck
Male on the left and female on the right

 

Tufted Duck

(Tufty/Tufties, Eurasian Tufted Duck)

Aythya fuligula

Gaelic: Lach-sgumanach

Photograph © Suzanne Harris
Leverburgh - Isle of Harris - Outer Hebrides (Western Isles)
1st June, 2007

 

  • Tufted Duck (Tufty/Tufties, Eurasian Tufted Duck)
  • Aythya fuligula
  • UK: Resident Breeder, Passage/Winter Visitor. 8,000 pairs summer, 120,000 pairs winter (RSPB)
  • WI: Fairly common resident breeder (occurs in small numbers) in the Uists & Benbecula (mostly machair lochs), scarce breeder in Lewis & Harris (occurs in small numbers).
    Winter visitor
  • Breeds: Lowland areas with open water and lots of vegetation. Europe, America, Asia
  • Winters: South of breeding range to Africa, Asia. Most UK birds resident. Birds from Iceland & Northern Europe also winter in UK. Forms large flocks in winter.
  • Diet: Omnivorous. Often feeds on mud mottom by diving. Also dabbling. Molluscs (mussels favourite), aquatic insects, some plant material. Sometimes feeds at night
  • Habitat: Open water: Reservoirs, gravel pits, inland lochs, lakes, marshes, coastal lagoons, seashore, sheltered ponds (migration also rivers, estuaries)
  • Medium-sized diving duck (smaller than mallard). Adult male all black except white flanks & blue-grey bill which sometimes has pale band. Small crest/top-knot. Yellow eye. Flight shows white stripe across back of wing (not grey).
  • Maximum recorded age 22 yrs
  • Listen to a Tufted Duck (RSPB site)
  • Similar birds: Ring-necked Duck (rare - has strong white band around bill), Greater Scaup (whitish back), Lesser Scaup (rare - whitish back)

 

Tufted duck sometimes gather together forming huge flocks in winter, a flock of 20,000 birds was once recorded on Lough Neagh, County Down in Northern Ireland.

 

 

Tufted Duck records in the Western Isles

Fairly common resident breeder (occurs in small numbers) in the Uists & Benbecula (mostly machair lochs), scarce breeder in Lewis & Harris (occurs in small numbers).
Winter visitor

 


On the chart below the darker the shade of blue the more abundant the Tufted Duck is during a month or the more likely you are to see it.

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Source: Outer Hebrides Birds Checklist)

Male and female ducks and their collective nouns

Some people use the word duck only for an adult female and drake for an adult male whilst others say hen and drake.

Waterfowl collective nouns (From WIKI):
waterfowl (on water) A raft
waterfowl A bunch of waterfowl
waterfowl (less than 30) A knob
ducks, swimming A paddling of ducks
waterfowl A plump
ducks, idle in water A raft of ducks
ducks, diving A dopping of ducks
ducks, on ground A badelynge of ducks
ducks, flying A flight, plump, or team of ducks
ducks A brace, bunch, flock, skein, sord, string, brace, flush

 

Other local bird photographs

Sources of information for the bird sightings section


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