032 Tufted Duck
(Aythya fuligula)


40-47cm.Small, rather short-bodied duck with narrow neck and rather large head with crest (long and drooping on breeding males, only a shorter tuft in other plumages) at hindcrown. Head unevenly rounded with high forehead and flattish crown. Bill is short but broad, pale blue-grey with most of tip dipped in blacked. Male's breeding plumage is black with sharply defined rectangular white flanks and long drooping crest. The eye of Tufted Duck is yellow.


In Hungary the Tufted Duck breeds mainly in Transdanubia, the most known sites are Kis-Balaton, Rétszilas Fishponds and Hanság. During migration its most important gathering sites are Lake Balaton, Danube and Lake Tisza but can occur on any artificial or natural ponds. In spring migration lasts from February until late April, after which period only a low number of oversummering and breeding individuals are present in Hungary. Its autumn migration starts in September and peaks in November. Following the first frosts only a few overwintering birds stay on unfrozen waters.

032 Tufted Duck pic

© Graphics by Szabolcs Kókay

Source: 1) Lovászi Péter (editor): Javasolt különleges madárvédelmi területek Magyarországon, Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület, 2002; 2) BirdLife International:IUCN Red List for birds. Species factsheet; 3) Králl Attila, Nagy Károly: Fontos Madárélőhelyek Magyarországon (Területek, kritériumok és minősítő fajok) MME Monitoring Központ, 2007; 4) Szabolcs Kókay bird illustrations; 5) www.hungarianbirdwatching.com bird descriptions and checklists, 2004-2012; 6) Lars Svensson et al.: Collins Bird Guide: The Most Complete Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe 2nd Edition, Harper Collins, 2010; 7) MME Nomenclator Bizottság: Nomenclator avium Hungariae. An annotated list of the birds of Hungary. Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület, 2008