Belongs to: diving ducks

Compare with: scaup

Tufted duck Aythya fuligula

Best time to see: all year

Key facts

The most common British diving duck: male black-and-white with drooping crest, female brown

Breeds on lakes and ponds with plenty of fringing vegetation; in winter spread out to other water bodies such as reservoirs

Common and widespread resident, joined in winter by immigrants from N. Europe and Iceland


Male black with white flanks, dark head with drooping crest; female pale brown with dark brown head and smaller crest; 42 cm

Dives frequently to feed on plants and aquatic invertebrates, often with pochard; occurs in large flocks

Flight strong and direct


Nest colonially close to water, often on islands

Nest is a lined hollow, well hidden; one brood of 5–12 greenish eggs, May–June

Duck incubates and tends ducklings, which swim and dive within hours of hatching

© Owen Keen

© Andreas Trepte