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Common name Ferruginous duck
Scientific name Aythya nyroca
Type Waterbirds
Status Summer

Small diving duck (approx. 42 cm or 16.5 in). Plumage of rufous tones, very intense in males on the head, breast and flanks. The back, wings and tail are in black tones, but with a white lower area. Females are similar but with more dull tones. Greyish or light blue bill, with a white and black terminal spot. White eye iris in males and brown in females. The anal area of this duck is always white, the same as a wing band visible in flight.



Where it lives

Species little tolerant to salinity and contamination. The Ferruginous Duck prefers deep, clean, fresh water wetlands with floating vegetation and submerged macrophytes (large algae). It requires dense borders of marsh vegetation.

How it lives

Especially wintering bird in the province but also an occasional and rare breeder. The Ferruginous Duck breeds in May. Nest on the border of marsh vegetation. It lays 7 to 10 eggs. Gregarious in winter and more discreet and in isolated couples during the summer. It feeds on submerged parts of the macrophytes.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

Uncommon or rare species in the province. As a breeder there are watching records in the Campillos lagoon during the years when the water level is sufficient. In winter it can be observed at the mouth of the Guadalhorce or in the Archidona lagoons.

Curious facts

In the winter of 2015-16 the Laguna Grande (Great Lagoon) of Archidona hosted eight individuals of Ferruginous Duck. It is the largest number of individuals of this species that have been watched in the province, which indicates to what extent it is a scarce species in Malaga. The Latin surname of this duck ("nyroca") derives from the Russian word "nyrok", which means "duck".

Similar birds
Wintering Summer Resident Migration