Identification: The male Tufted Duck is distinctively all-black apart from his immaculately neat white flanks, yellow eye and grey bill. The female is mostly chocolate-brown, darker than the Pochard and with a slightly paler area on the flanks, similar in outline to the same patch on the male. She usually shows at least the beginnings of a tuft at the back of the head. In flight, Tufteds have very dark wings with a broad white bar across the flight feathers.
Habitat: Breeds on reed-fringed lakes and slow-moving rivers. Winters on lakes, reservoirs, and estuaries.
Distribution: Reasonably common as a breeding bird, although absent from north-west Scotland, south-west England and Wales. In winter very common and widespread on inland stretches of water.
Widespread and abundant at wetland sites in most areas of Europe. The concentrations of birds close to the shore, just north of Oostvaadersplassen in Flevoland (Holland) in winter are particularly impressive.
Population: The British breeding population is somewhere in the region of 7 000-8 000 pairs and a further 1 750-2 000 pairs breed in Ireland. Wintering populations in Britain are about 60 000 birds with another 25 000 in Ireland.
At least 250,000-300,000 pairs breed in Europe. Russian population 395000-490000 Turkish population 50-500