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Knob-billed Duck - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Alok Tewari
Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India, July 2015
Sarkidiornis melanotos

Alternative name: African Comb Duck


Photo © by Rakesh
Pashan Pune, India, March 2007

55–63 cm (21-25)

  • Glossy blue black upperparts
  • White underparts
  • Blue and green iridescent secondaries
  • White head with dark spots
  • White neck

Male - larger with large black knob on the bill

  • Dull buff underparts, face and neck
  • Dull brown upperparts, crown and eyestripe


Sub-Saharan Africa, Madagascar, south Asia, Pakistan, Laos and extreme southern China.


This is a monotypic species1.
Formerly considered conspecific with Comb Duck from South America.


Wetlands, freshwater swamps, rice fields and lakes.



The diet for both subspecies is mostly vegetarian, with grass, seeds and rice grain; supplemented with small fish and invertebrates.


They nest in tree holes and tall grass. The nest is lined with reeds, grass, or feathers. 7-15 yellowish-white eggs are laid; incubated by the female for about 30 days.


  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. Hockey, PAR, WRJ Dean, and PG Ryan, eds. 2005. Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa. 7th ed. Cape Town: John Voelcker Bird Book Fund. ISBN 978-0620340533
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved June 2015)

Recommended Citation

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