Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula   [Linnaeus, 1758]

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Date created: 23-January-2017

Order: Anseriformes Family: Anatidae
BTO Codes: TU, TUFDU EURING No: 2030
Number in Britain: 17 thousand Pairs (Summer)
Conservation Status:
European: Least Concern
Global: Least Concern (Details)
Status in UK: (A)  Resident Breeder, Passage/Winter Visitor
Subspecies: Monotypic
Length: 44 cm Wingspan: 70 cm Weight: M/F: 760 g    
Scientific name from: Gr.: aithuia=a seabird described by Aristotle and L.: fuligo=soot + gula=throat
World Distribution: BREEDS: Europe, n&c Asia, WINTERS: south to n Africa & se Asia
Habitat: Marshes, lakes, on migration also rivers, estuaries
Diet: Omnivorous, feeds on mud bottom mostly by diving
TitBit: The rapid expansion of the Tufted Duck in Britain during the late 19th/early 20th century is probably due to the colonisation of Britain by Zebra Mussels (brought into London docks in the 1820s).  
Identification Tips:
  Images from IBC or search flickr
  Videos from IBC
  Sound from xeno-canto
Crossley ID photos BTO ID Workshop

Population and Distribution

Population Trend: BirdTrends   
Regional Trends: England   English Regions
Distribution: Atlas Mapstore   
British Population Size:
    Summer: 17 thousand Pairs in 2009
    Winter: 110 thousand individuals in 2004/05 - 2008/09
    First Record: 1662 [Fossil evidence from Middle Pleistocene, c. 500,000 yr ago]
    First Breeding Record: Yorkshire (and probably earlier) 1849
    Latest Survey: Musgrove, A. et al. (2013) British Birds 106:64-100
    Conservation Status: GREEN
   Previous Assessments: 2009-2014 AMBER     2002-2007 GREEN     1996-2001 GREEN  
   Races of Concern:
Habitat Occupancy (in the Breeding Season):
    Most frequent in: Lakes
    Also common in: Ponds
Relative Frequency in Each Habitat:
Migration routes: Map of foreign ringing recoveries
European Population Size:
    Summer: 200 to 320 thousand pairs (of which c. 7 % breed in Britain)
Population Assesment from Birds in Europe
Distribution in Europe mapped by the EBCC Atlas
Listed on the Appendices/Schedules of: WCA(II,III), WBD(II*,III*), Bern(III), Bonn(II), AEWA
Survey Results: Results from BirdTrack

Breeding and Survival

Egg Size: 59 x 41 mm Egg Weight: 56.0 g (of which 8 % is shell)
Number of Nest Records: 29
Clutch Size: 8 - 11 eggs
Incubation: 25 days   by the: Female
Fledging: 45 - 50days as: Precocial, downy
First Clutches Laid: Unavailable
Number of Broods: 1
See trends in Breeding Productivity
Number Ringed: Annual Totals
Adult Survival: 0.710 ± 0.011       
Juvenile Survival: 0.630 (in First-Year)  
Age at First Breeding: 1 year Typical Lifespan: 4 years
Maximum Age from Ringing: 24 years 3 months 13 days (set in 2009)
Read a summary of Ringing Recoveries


Ring Size: F*
Wing Length Adult: 204.9 ± 6.4 Range 195 - 214 mm, N =491
Juvenile: 198.7 ± 7.3 187 - 209 mm, N =157
Male: 206.8 ± 5.3 199 - 215 mm, N =349
Female: 200.1 ± 6.5 192 - 208 mm, N =141
Weight Adult: 853.4 ± 142.0 Range 625.0 - 1100 g , N =397
Juvenile: 775.2 ± 107.5 590.0 - 940.0 g , N =107
Male: 887.6 ± 128.6 685.0 - 1100 g , N =284
Female: 768.3 ± 138.5 585.0 - 990.0 g , N =112
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Ringing Scheme data

Other Names

Gaelic: Lach-sgumanach Welsh: Hwyaden Gopog
Danish: Troldand Dutch: Kuifeend
Finnish: Tukkasotka French: Fuligule morillon
German: Reiherente Hungarian: Kontyos réce
Icelandic: Skúfönd Irish: Lacha Bhadánach
Italian: Moretta Norwegian: Toppand
Polish: Czernica Portuguese: Zarro-negrinha
Spanish: Porrón moñudo Swedish: Vigg

For More Information...

Books and Monographs:
   Kear, J 2005 Ducks, geese and swans Oxford University Press [598.48 KEA]
   Cabot, D. 2009 Wildfowl Collins, London
Links from ConservationEvidence.com:
See Also:
Google Scholar search for scientific papers
Wikipedia entry
HBW account (subscription required)
BirdLife species page
Recent sightings and information from BirdGuides