Tufted Ducks - Hebridean Birds
Western Isles Birds - These diving ducks - the tufted ducks, medium sized birds are the most widespread duck in Britain. The distinctive male bird is jet black, flanks and belly white - the head with a purple gloss has yellow eyes and a long head tuft.

The female is a uniform brown with a short tuft - she often has a white band on the forehead around the base of the bill. These birds breed in the UK & Scotland. Here in the Western Isles - there are more birds that breed on the Uists - but a few do so on The Isle of Harris and The Isle of Lewis.
Bluetit - Bird Sightings - Stornoway - Western Isles
Bird Overview - Ducks - Tufted Ducks
Family
Swans, Ducks - Geese
Latin name
Aythya fuligula
Population
Common
Similar Species
Scaup
Description
These diving ducks - the tufted ducks - medium sized birds - are the most widespread duck in Britain. The distinctive male bird - is jet black - flanks and belly white - the head with a purple gloss has yellow eyes and a long head tuft.

The female is a uniform brown with a short tuft - she often has a white band on the forehead around the base of the bill.
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Size
40cm - 47cm They weigh about 750 g
Habitat
Large - Open waters - slowly flowing waters with vegetated banks.
Food
The tufted ducks eat Molluscs, insects and some plants. Tufted ducks to quite a depth (down to 14 m) in search of food such as aquatic creatures and water plants, in the mud and stones.

Larger fish or vegetable matter may be brought to the surface to eat. Insects and duckweed floating on the surface are also scooped up.

Voice
These ducks are usually quiet, except in the breeding season when males make a musical whistling call while courting females
Breeding
These ducks often nest together in large numbers. They share spots with nesting gulls and terns very often.

The aggressive terns may help to drive predators away from the nests of the ducks. They breed May - August - have 8-10eggs - Incubation is 23 - 25 days and the young fledge at 7weeks.

These tufted ducks nest on the ground. THe ducklings dive almost as soon as they are hatched.. .


Misc. Info
Eiderdowns
In the last century, tufted ducks have increased in numbers. This may be partly due to the increase in the number of man-made lakes - ponds, reservoirs, gravel pits and settling lagoons. All of these areas offer an ideal feeding habitat for them.


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