• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Common Pochard - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by mikemik
Slovenia 4 March, 2018
Aythya ferina


42–49 cm (16½-19¼ in), a mid-sized diving duck.
Adult Male

  • Chestnut red head
  • Black bill with light stripe
  • Light grey body
  • Black chest, vent, tail and rump


Photo © by mikemik
Slovenia, 4 March 2018
  • Dull brown/grey
  • Richer brown head
  • Pale markings at base of bill and around eye


Breeds in western Europe from the British Isles and France east to Central Europe and more continuously from the shores of the Baltic and eastern Europe east across Asia south of the tundra to Mongolia and western China. Small numbers breed outside main range in Iceland, Spain, Italy and Greece, in Turkey and in Hokkaido, Japan. Now classified as "vulnerable" by IUCN because of recent steep declines throughout its extensive range.

A summer visitor to northernmost parts of range. Winters throughout the British Isles and western Europe, around the Mediterranean, Black and Caspian Seas, in India, southern China and Japan. Small numbers winter in sub-Saharan Africa.

Vagrants recorded the Faroes, Azores, Madeira; Canary Islands and Cape Verde Islands, Gambia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Philippines, Hawaii, the Aleutian Islands and California.


Photo © by Chalky W
Somerset, UK, 3 April 2010

This is a monotypic species[1].


Usually breeds on medium-large, fairly deep freshwaters with some marginal vegetation. On passage and in winter often on larger, more open waters, particularly reservoirs and gravel-pits, also estuaries and sometimes on sheltered seas.



The diet consists of aquatic plants, seeds, roots of sedges and grasses; molluscs, aquatic insects and small fish, often feeding at night.


Photo © by targetman
Lincolnshire, UK, 23 June 2010


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Carboneras, C., Kirwan, G.M. & Sharpe, C.J. (2019). Common Pochard (Aythya ferina). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/52903 on 22 May 2019).
  3. BirdLife International 2017. Aythya ferina (amended version of 2016 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22680358A110610804. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-1.RLTS.T22680358A110610804.en. Downloaded on 22 May 2019.
  4. Fox, A. D.; Caizergues, A.; Banik, M. V.; Devos, K.; Dvorak, M.; Ellermaa, M.; Folliot, B.; Green, A. J.; Grüneberg, C.; Guillemain, M.; Håland, A.; Hornman, M.; Keller, V.; Koshelev, A. I.; Kostiushyn, V. A.; Kozulin, A.; Lawicki, L.; L.uigujõe, L.; Müller, C.; Musil, P.; Musilová, Z.; Nilsson, L.; Mischenko, A.; Pöysä, H.; Šciban, M.; Sjenicic, J.; Stipniece, A.; Švažas, S.; Wahl, J. 2016. Recent changes in the abundance of Common Pochard Aythya ferina breeding in Europe. Wildfowl 66: 22-40. Available at: https://wildfowl.wwt.org.uk/index.php/wildfowl/article/view/2638/1758. Date accessed: 22 May. 2019.

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1