Duck: Tufted duck
Over a million birds, spread over a wide range means that these ducks are relatively safe. They are well protected within Europe with them listed as a species of European conservation concern.
Favourite by far are freshwater mussels! These ducks dive down and move the lake sediment and rocks around with their beaks looking for these mussels as well as crustaceans, snails and insect larvae.
Widespread throughout Northern Eurasia on open fresh water bodies such as gravel pits and lakes.
A smaller species of diving duck! These birds migrate going to a warmer Mediterranean climate in Europe during winter but our birds in the UK tend to live here all year round.
Tufted ducks ideally nest on islands in dense undergrowth. 8-11 eggs are laid and hatch after 25 days of permanent incubation by the hen from the last egg laid.
Both sexes have feather tufts on the top of their head, the males slightly longer.
Only the female rears the ducklings as the males go and moult and from bachelor flocks in mid-summer.
At The Zoo
Most of our tufted ducks come and go from our centre lake. Nearby we have Wistland Pound reservoir where they choose to spend summer and breed coming back for cereal grain and protection in the winter.