Ferruginous Duck (Ferruginous Pochard) Aythya nyroca

A rare but regular vagrant to the UK from continental Europe. Escapes from captivity also occur and several confusing hybrids masquerade as Ferruginous Ducks. Variation in pure Ferruginous Duck seems to be under-appreciated and some perfectly fine birds are dismissed as hybrids as they do not quite conform precisely enough to people's expectations. Having said that backcrossed hybrids from captivity may be extremely difficult or impossible to separate from pure Ferruginous Ducks so perhaps a cautious approach has some sense. I have some doubt over the purity of some of the captive birds shown here but at the present time I am not convinced any are hybrids.

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male Ferruginous Duck (with a Tufted Duck in the lower photo), Lynford GP (Norfolk, UK), 21st February 2004

 

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female Ferruginous Duck (with Wigeon), Snettisham (Norfolk, UK), 5th December 2009

 

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male Ferruginous Duck, Barton Broad (Norfolk, UK), 26th December 2009

 

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captive Ferruginous Duck, Blakeney Collection (Norfolk, UK), 4th December 2010

 

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female Ferruginous Duck, River Bure at Woodbastwick (Norfolk, UK), 5th February 2011 - some observers think that a few features on this long-staying (and possibly escaped) bird are not quite perfect for pure Ferruginous Duck and so consider that it is a backcrossed hybrid. I am personally not convinced by the argument and find nothing in this bird's appearance that rules out the possibility that it is a pure Ferruginous Duck (although that is not to say it definitely is a pure bird). For some discussion about this see my blog post

 

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female Ferruginous Duck, Cockshoot Broad (Norfolk, UK), 12th November 2011 - the same bird as above; the bird behind in two of the shots is a hybrid, presumably the offspring of this bird and believed to be Ferruginous Duck x Pochard; for more photos of this and other Ferruginous Duck hybrids see the Hybrid Ducks page

 

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Ferruginous Ducks, Granelli (Sicily, Italy), 1st May 2012

 

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Ferruginous Ducks, Granelli (Sicily, Italy), 28th April 2012

 

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Ferruginous Ducks, Granelli (Sicily, Italy), 29th April 2012

 

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female Ferruginous Duck, Ranworth Broad (Norfolk, UK), 2nd December 2012 - presumably the same bird as the Woodbastwick and Cockshoot Broad bird shown above, and still accompanying a hybrid

 

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captive Ferruginous Ducks, Pensthorpe (Norfolk, UK), 9th March 2014

 

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captive first-winter male Ferruginous Duck, Blakeney (Norfolk, UK), 30th October 2015

 

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captive female Ferruginous Duck, Blakeney (Norfolk, UK), 23rd December 2015

 

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captive Ferruginous Ducks, Martin Mere (Lancashire, UK), 26th December 2014

 

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probable female Ferruginous Duck, Welney (Norfolk, UK), 29th November 2014 - this bird never showed its wings or belly and was distant and in poor light throughout the time it was in view; consequently probably safest to label it as probable, though what was seen was perfect and if it wasn't a pure Ferruginous Duck then I don't think it was a first-generation hybrid either