The Pochard (Aythya ferina) is a very conspicuous diving duck, with a marvellous reddish-brown head.

The pochard is c. 40-50cm, with a wingspan of c. 70-80cm. It is a compact diving duck, easily recognisable by the male’s reddish-brown head and flat forehead. The female is much less conspicuous, clear brown with a lighter stripe through the eyes.

The pochard lives in lakes, moors and shallow coastal waters with dense vegetation, often in the vicinity of colonies of black headed gulls.

It forage by diving, up to a depth of over 6m, where it finds a variety of food, including snails, clams, insects, craw-fish and plants. Vegetable food plays a larger role in the diet of the pochard than it does for other diving ducks, such as the tufted duck.

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