Spread and habitat
Migratory species widespread in Europe. Generally it reproduces north of the 48th parallel. It is found in open areas with large ponds, pools or other sources of not too deep water. It also does not mind sheltered beaches. Elegant diving duck, it adapts well to life in captivity.
In the male, the head, neck, chest and upper body are neo colored. The head has a graceful occipital tuft. The black wings have a thin white band. Belly and hips are white. Bluish beak with black tip. Yellow eye. Yellowish gray legs.
Size approximately 43 cm.
The female has a uniform brown coat with light gray strikethrough on the hips. White mark at the base of the bluish gray beak. The occipital tuft is not very evident.
The young specimens are similar to the female, from which they differ in the darker color of the back and abdomen and for the lack of the white mark on the beak.
Nutrition and behavior
The diet is based on small insects, molluscs, snails, sprouts, berries and seeds. In captivity the diet must be varied. Sociable and gregarious in character, it forms large groups that move around in search of food. It nests, alone or in a colony, near water basins. It lays 7 to 12 eggs which it hatches for 25 days. Excellent diver, she manages to dive in search of food up to nine meters deep.
Moretta male Aythya fuligula (photo www.scientific-web.com)
Tufted duck female Aythya fuligula (photo www.idre.hu)