Aythya ferina


A common diving duck, the Pochard feeds on plant seeds, waterweed, snails and other aquatic invertebrates. Most of the birds in Britain come here from northern and eastern Europe for the winter, with just a few pairs staying to nest.

How to identify

A plump, grey diving duck, a male Pochard has a chestnut head and a black chest and rear end. The female is a darker, duller grey-brown.

Where to find it

A rare nesting bird, much more common in the winter when it can be found in large numbers on lakes, reservoirs and gravel pits around the country.


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

Britain is an important stopover for many wintering migrant species, so it is vital that we protect the places they rely on. But the survival of our waterbirds is threatened by the loss and degradation of many of our wetland habitats. The Wildlife Trusts manage many wetland nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife happenings, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and be helping local wildlife along the way.

Species information

Common name
Latin name
Aythya ferina
Length: 44-48cm Wingspan: 77cm Weight: 930g Average Lifespan: 3 years
Conservation status
Classified in the UK as an Amber List species under the Birds of Conservation Concern review.