Latin name - Aythya fuligula
Smaller than a mallard, the tufted duck is our commonest diving duck although they only colonised Britain 150 years ago. The male is black with white flanks and belly with the characteristic smal tuft or crest drooping on the back of its head. The female is dark brown, pale brown on flanks with a far smaller crest and sometimes shows a narrow white band at base of bill. Both sexes have yellow eyes and a white stripe across the back of the wings which shows in flight. Adult birds can dive to 7 metres or more searching for their main food of molluscs although they also eat insects, seeds and plants especially when young. They are resident throughout the year with our own population being swelled by migration from Icelend and northwest Europe during the winter.