Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula (Linnaeus) 1758

Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula (Linnaeus) 1758
Other Name: Tufted Pochard

Status and distribution
Previously as vagrant where population have been increasing over the years each migratory year. Found south to Perak i.e Malim Mawar, Batu Gajah and no further south have been recorded a part from Malacca in 1972.
This species can be even more widely distributed in the northern and central Peninsula Malaysia compare to existing knowledge. Migratory route in Malaysia are unknown however good sighting from East Malaysia provide clue that this species can be sighted south to Johore.
One sighting in Malacca (Well’s 1990) in February 1972 however not recent record of this species  southwards of Perak have been reported.
A species well recorded in Sabah. One sighting in an discharge pond of palm oil. The bird was observed together with Wandering Whistling Duck. 

Very compact looking duck with appearance of black and white. Tuff can be seen however this is not the case all the time due to different angle of the bird in field. Leg and feet grey.
Male: Side of body clean cut white with dark blackish on the rest of the body. Head usually violet or purplish gloss however this marking usually seen as black in field.
Bill pale blue grey with poorly define whitish yellow.
Male Eclipse: Black part replaced by blackish brown; flank and belly dull brown. Crest are short.
Female: From male, the side of body replace with pale brown and remaining part of body are dark brown. Occasionally white ring of feather at forehead around base of bill but much narrower then in Scaup.
Juvenile: Crest are absent. Usually similar to adult female with head blackish brown with pale facial patch.
Inflight: Show white winged bar at base of flight feather with white underpart.

Tufted duck X Common Pochard
Tufted Duck X Ring Necked Duck
Tufted Duck X Ferruginous Duck
Lesser Scoup X Tuffted Duck

Confusion Species
Compare to Ferruginous and Baer’s Pochards by lack of white on under tail covert and by yellow eyes. Head shape is good to note for differences.
From Greater Scaup lack of pale oval shape on side of head; white facial patch on juvenile. In flight by black covert of Tuffted compare to gray in GS.
From Lesser Scaup by lack of small bump towards the rear of crown providing the shape of the Tuffted.

Geographical Variation
Non recognized (Well’s 1990 and Madge.S & Burn.H 1988)

No local details. Well’s 1990 mention “Dives for food”.
In Malaysia most bird were seen singly until year 2019 where small group were sighted.

Found up to 1,300m asl. In Malaysia this have been lowland and no record in highland. NO sighting in major hydroelectric lake such as in Belum Temenggor. Other lake which have been keep an eye yield no result such as Fraser’s Hill although Well’s 1990 mention that sighting were documented on 10 December 1975.

Open country lake and in Malim Mawar this was ex mining pond with active activity.

Not documented locally. Species status are currently migrant.




Ben F.King & Edwards C.Dickson, 1989, A Field Guide To The Birds of South-East Asia, Collins, Grafton Street, London

Craig Robson, 2017, A Field Guide To The Birds of South-East Asia, Bloomsburry, London

Sebastien Reeber, 2015,  Waterfowl Of North America, Europe, And Asia An Identification Guide, Princeton and Oxford, Paris. (ISBN 13579108642)

Steve Madge and Hilary Burn, 1992, Wildfowl An Identification Guide to the Ducks, Geese and Swans Of The World,Christopher Helm, London. (ISBN 0-7136-3647-5)

Susan Myers, 2009, A Field Guide To The Birds of Borneo, Talisman, Singapore

Boonsong Lekagul & Philip D.Round, 1991, A guide to the Birds of Thailand, Saha Karn Bhaet Co., Ltd Bangkok

David R Wells, 1999, Birds of The Thai Malay Peninsula Vol 1, Academic Press, London UK

James A. Eaton, Bas van Balen, Nick W. Brickle & Frank E. Rheindt, 2016,  Birds of the Indonesia Archipelago Greater Sundas and Wallacea, Lynx Edicion, Bercelona

Medway & David R Well 1976, The Birds of the Malay Peninsula Volume V: Conclusion and Survey of Every Species, Broadwaterpress, England

Nils Van Duivendijk 2011, Advance Bird Id Handbook The Western Paleartctic, New Holland UK (ISBN 978 1 78009 022 1)

Pamela C. Rasmussen 2012, Birds of South Asia, Lynx Edicions, Bercolona (ISBN 978-84-96553-85-9)

Salim Ali & S. Dillon Ripley, 1981,  Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan Volume 1 ,Oxford University Press , London

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