Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Special birds: Ferruginous Duck

Though formally a fairly common breeder across most of the European continent Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca is today very much an Eastern European species. Over the last 100 years it has declined badly in both range and number in Europe and it is now only numerous in Croatia and Romania, though it can also be seen in Hungary, Serbia and Bulgaria. It breeds in marshes, flood-plains and on fish-ponds (that are not intensively managed) with emergent vegetation and plenty of rush, sedge and reed cover. It is a migratory duck, most arriving in the region in March and leaving in September. In flight its mostly dark chestnut-coloured body contrasts strikingly with its brilliant white wingbars.

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