Male tufted ducks closely resemble their counterparts
in ring-necked ducks. The principle difference is the
tuft of feathers that fall behind the head. In
addition, the sides are white rather than gray, the
bill lacks a white margin at the base, and in flight a
white stripe at the back of the inner wing is
displayed. The female tufted duck is similar in
appearance to female Scaup, but is black-brown with a
smaller patch of white at the base of the bill. At the
back of the head, there is a small protuberance of
feathers, which is much smaller than the males.
Average length: 16-18"
Average weight: M 1.68 lbs., F 1.57 lbs.
Tufted ducks breed across Eurasia from Iceland and
the British Isles east across Russia and Siberia to
the Kamchatka Peninsula and the Commander Islands.
There are no breeding records of tufted ducks in North
America. Female tufted ducks nest on islands in lakes
or on sloped banks of small wetlands in reeds, tufts
of grass, or under bushes close to water and lay an
average of 9 eggs.
The hen lays 8-10 pale buff or greenish eggs in a
down-lined bowl of grass concealed under a bush or
tussock, usually near water.
Breeds in northern Eurasia; casual in North America,
chiefly along coasts in Alaska, California, and
northeastern states. Most often seen near urban areas.
Tufted ducks dive to feed on roots, seeds, and buds
of aquatic plants and clams, snails, aquatic insects,
and sometimes amphibians and small fishes. They also
skim flies and duckweeds on the water surface.
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