Red-crested pochard

Netta rufina

The Red-crested pochard is a large diving duck that lives throughout Europe, Asia and Northern Africa. Red-crested pochards are the largest of the pochards.

Red-crested pochard behavior and facts

  • The male red-crested pochard has a rounded orange head, a red bill and a black breast.
  • The female is mostly brown with a darker brown crown and splashes of white on its face.
  • Red-crested pochards are social birds that form large flocks in winter, often sharing the company of other diving duck species.
  • They dive and dabble to get at the roots, seeds and aquatic plants that they eat.
  • Males and non-breeding red-crested pochards molt and become flightless for four weeks between June and August.

From birth to death

  • The nest of the red-crested pochard is constructed on the ground in dense vegetation near water.
  • During courtship, the male brings the female food offerings.
  • Females lay 8 to 10 pale green eggs and incubate them alone for 26-28 days.

Vital statistics

  • Red-crested pochards are 20-23 inches long.
  • They weigh up to 2 pounds.


IUCN Least concern

Red-crested pochards, the Oregon Zoo and you

The zoo's red-crested pochards live in the Africa Rainforest Aviary.