Bird Families

American duck

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Latin name:Oxyura leucocephala
English name:White-headed duck
Detachment:Anseriformes, or lamellar (Anseriformes)
Family:Duck (Anatidae)
Body length, cm:43–48
Wingspan, cm:62–70
Body weight, g:400–900
Features:beak shape and color, tail position
Conservation status:SPEC 1, CEE 1, BERNA 2, BONN 1, BONN 2, AEWA, CITES 1
Habitat:Wetland species
Additionally:Russian description of the species

This duck can be pressed by the shape of its beak, which is noticeably thickened towards the base, by its long and stiff tail, which the white-headed duck often holds upward, and by the color of the head: black and white in the male, brown, with a white central stripe in the female. The wings do not have any special distinctive features.

Spread... A migratory species, in some areas there are sedentary individuals. Distributed extremely mosaic in Central Asia and Southern Europe. (In Russia, in the extreme south, in the steppe zone.) Winters in the south of the range. As a nesting bird, it disappeared from Italy in 1977, when it was last recorded in Sardinia. Very irregularly some individuals are found during migration and wintering.

Habitat... Prefers reservoirs rich in aquatic vegetation: swamps, ponds, lakes and lagoons.

Biology... In May-June, as a rule, lays 5 to 8 whitish eggs, which the female incubates for 22-24 days. Chicks quickly leave the nest, but they begin to fly at the age of 60–70 days. One clutch per year. The flying bird has a characteristic silhouette: the neck and wings are short, the rear part is elongated. It feeds on plant and animal food.

Interesting fact... White-headed duck is a cautious bird, it can completely immerse itself in water or leave only its head on the surface, holding it like a periscope, like a great crested grebe or cormorant.

Security... The number of this species is decreasing, it has completely disappeared in some countries due to land reclamation and extermination. In Italy, a project is being developed to reintroduce the white-headed duck in Sardinia and Puglia. Recently, there is a possibility of competition and interspecific crossing with American duck (Oxyura jamaicensis), a North American bird introduced in Great Britain.

White-headed duck (Oxyura leucocephala)

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