The Southern Pochard (Netta erythrophthalma) is a duck. This bird is sociable and gregarious. It has been seen in groups of up to 5,000.
Subspecies and Ranges:
- The South American (Southern) Pochard N. e. erythrophthalma
The South American Pochard has a fragmented range and is found from Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Argentina to Chile. Here it occurs in a wide variety of shallow fresh waters with submerged vegetation, from the lowlands up to 3,700 metres.
- The African (Southern) Pochard N. e. brunnea.
The African Pochard occurs from the Cape to the Ethiopian highlands on water bodies with or without emergent vegetation. They are suspected to have been strong migrants in the past but the construction of numerous farm dams seems to allow them a more sedentary lifestyle. They reach highest concentrations in Africa’s central plateaus and in the south-western winter rainfall region.
Breeding and Nesting
The clutch consists of six to fifteen eggs.
- BirdLife International (2004). Netta erythrophthalma. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 12 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concernMaclean, G.L. Harrison, J.A. Southern Pochard. In: The atlas of southern African birds. Vol. 1: Non-passerines.
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Diet / Feeding:
Pochard usually feed by diving or dabbling – and often at night. They will upend for food as well as the more characteristic diving. Their staple diet consists of aquatic plants with some mollusks, aquatic insects and small fish.
Ducks generally feed on larvae and pupae usually found under rocks, aquatic animals, plant material, seeds, small fish, snails and crabs.
Feeding Ducks …
We all enjoy ducks and many of us offer them food to encourage them to come over and stay around – and it works! Who doesn’t like an easy meal!
However, the foods that we traditionally feed them at local ponds are utterly unsuitable for them and are likely to cause health problems down the road. Also, there may be local laws against feeding this species of bird – so it’s best to check on that rather than facing consequences at a later stage.
- Foods that can be fed to Ducks, Geese and Swans to survive cold winters and remain healthy when food is scarce in their environment.
Please note that feeding ducks and geese makes them dependent on humans for food, which can result in starvation and possibly death when those feedings stop. If you decide to feed them, please limit the quantity to make sure that they maintain their natural ability to forage for food themselves – providing, of course, that natural food sources are available.
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