basic information

Common Pochard

Aythya ferina (Linnaeus, 1758)

Красноголовый нырок | Көк сүңгуір

Aktau, Caspian sea
© Victoria Kovshar


Breeding in northern half of Kazakhstan, south to Kamysh-Samarskiye lakes, lower reaches of Turgay river and Zaysan depression; sporadically further south to Ile river delta and Syrdarya valley. Widespread on dispersal and migration. Wintering in the extreme south of Kazakhstan. On Sorbulak lake 20 birds recorded 15 December 2002.


Common breeding migrant and numerous on migration. Inhabits fresh and salty steppe lakes and rivers with well developed reed-beds, prefers deep water, both on plains and in mountains up to 1500 m in Altai. Appears somewhat later than river ducks, in early March – mid-April. Migrates in separate flocks from some dozen up to 100-150 birds. As a rule, movement is finished by mid-May. Nest is built in reed-beds, on shallow water or on meadow tussocks and in flooded forests from dry reed leaves and other vegetation and lined with down. Clutches of 5-14 eggs in late April – end June. Female incubates 24-26 days. Juveniles hatch end May – early July, and begin to fly end July – late August. After females begin incubation, males gather on large deep lakes and moult (end May – mid-July). Autumn migration begins in September, peak movement end September – October; some birds linger into November, when water freezes.


Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005. Э.И.Гаврилов. "Фауна и распространение птиц Казахстана". Алматы, 1999. В.К.Рябицев. "Птицы Урала, Приуралья и Западной Сибири". Екатеринбург. Изд-во Уральского университета, 2000.


other names

Голубая чернеть

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