Tufted Duck

Aythya fuligula

  1. Wildlife
  2. Birds
  3. Waterfowl
  4. Tufted Duck


Our commonest diving duck, nesting on flooded gravel pits and lakes and reservoirs, and gathering in large flocks in the winter, often mixed with Pochard and Coot. Tufted Ducks feed on waterweed, plant seeds and aquatic invertebrates.

How to identify

Tufted Ducks are very distinctive: the female is entirely chocolate-brown, while the male is black with white flanks and a long tuft at the back of the head.

Where to find it

Found throughout the country, on lakes, reservoirs and gravel pits.


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

Even our commonest ducks are under threat from the loss of wetland habitats due to human activity; the Tufted Duck is no exception. The Wildlife Trusts manage many wetland nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife happenings, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and be helping local wildlife along the way.

Species information

Common name
Tufted Duck
Latin name
Aythya fuligula
Length: 41-45cm Wingspan: 70cm Weight: 760g Average Lifespan: 4 years
Conservation status
Classified in the UK as an Amber List species under the Birds of Conservation Concern review.