Mobile bird identification
Bird Field Guide

Tufted Duck

Aythya fuligula
Order: Anseriformes

Family: Anatidae

Genus:  Aythya

Species: A. fuligula
Note the bright yellow eye contrasting with the black head. The white flanks on this bird are showing signs of eclipse plumage.

The Male Tufted duck in Winter is a distinctive black and white duck with a tufted head. It's eye is bright yellow and it's bill is bluish with a black tip. The Tufted duck is a diving duck.

Adult Male Winter
Winter visitor
Resident bird
Passage Migrant
Summer visitor
Tufted duck distribution
General distribution:
A widespread bird, resident throughout most of the UK and central Europe. Around 17,000 pair breed in the UK. Numbers increase when Northern European birds arrive in Winter peaking to around 110,000 birds.
The Tufted duck dives for it's food, regularly disappearing under the water. It's typical food is molluscs, insects and small fish.
The Tufted duck nests in long grass around freshwater lakes and large ponds. In Winter it can be found in large flocks on open freshwater, especially near the coast.
In Summer the Males white flanks become much browner, sometimes much darker than the image above. The body becomes more of a brown-black but is always much darker than the female. The birds tuft gets less pronounced but it is always present.
Thanks to:Bryan's bird photography
Identifying a Tufted Duck

Bright yellow eye

*Black body with bright white flanks
Thanks to:;
* key ID points
Adult Female
Male Tufted duck flying
Identifying a Female Tufted Duck
Identifying a Male Tufted Duck

Bill less grey than Male

*Small tuft

Dark dull brown body

* key ID points
Thanks to:;

*Long fine tuft

*Pale brown flanks

Male and Female Tufted Duck
Wildfowl (Ducks)
Male Tufted duck flying

Black wings with bold white wing bars

Female Tufted duck flying
Identifying a Male Tufted Duck in eclipse
Adult Male Summer (Eclipse)
Thanks to:Bryan's bird photography

Brown wings with bold white wing bars

*Bright yellow eye

The Female Tufted duck is an all brown bird, the flanks are a lighter brown and can be distinctive, even from a distance. The Female has the same bright yellow eye as the Male.