This pretty dabbling duck breeds all the way around the Arctic from Iceland to the furthest East of Siberia. They migrate to the south for the winter and many are found on the Western fringes of Europe, through the Mediterranean, Northern India and East Asia through to Japan.
It is a medium-sized dabbling duck with much white showing in the wing in flight - the drakes have a lovely whistling call and yellow forehead and crown contrasting strongly with the chestnut head and wing. First colonised northern Scotland about 150 years ago and has increased and now (with help from escaped collection birds) even Southern England. There are about 1,500,000 of these ducks in winter in Europe and West Asia. The British (and possibly a few in Ireland) breeding population estimate is 300 - 500 pairs.
A medium sized duck closely related to the American Wigeon.
The following Bird On! pictures are available:
Length 480 mm Closed wing 255 mm Weight 700 gms
A Bird On! Sketch by Chris Mead
Copyright © 1996 by Jacobi Jayne & Company and Chris Mead