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White-headed Duck
Oxyura leucocephala

Map of the common names


Description
Medium-sized duck (L 45 cm), unmistikable because of it shape and colour. Male in full plumage has white head and a bright blue, almost grotesquely swollen bill, which is smaller and greyer in summer. Female more brown plumage. The White-headed Duck breeds principally in small, shallow, brackish wetlands with abundant submerged vegetation and extensive reedbeds. The species is resident.


Watercolour by Serge Nicolle


Reasons for the need for protection/inclusion in annex I
This species has become extinct in several European countries during the twentieth century. The main causes of the decline in range have been wetland drainage, hunting, disturbances, pesticides and egg and juveniles predation from rats and dogs. The greatest threat, however, now comes from hybridization and competetion with the Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis).


Distribution map


yellow = summer visitor
green = resident
blue = winter visitor


Population :
50 / 100 pairs


Drawing by Manuel Manolos


back to list of threatened species