The Red-crested Pochard is a bird, and it is the largest of all pochards. It grows to a size of about 57 cm, or 22 inches. It has a big, oval reddish-brown head. The bill is red and the abdomen and neck are dark brown with white areas on each side. The rest of its body is brown. During the year, the color of its plumage may vary. When young are born, they are brown with dark bills. They are native to Europe and Asia, but can also be seen in Denmark and the British Isles.
The males and females do not live together. The males leaves the hen to care for their young. The red-crested pochard likes to live near lakes and slow flowing rivers. They create their nests from vegetation and place them on the ground. They build their nests from roots, stems and leaves. They like their habitat to be sheltered, like sheltered coastal areas.
The female can lay from 6 to 10 eggs, and they are cream-colored. Sometimes the females will leave their nests and lay their eggs in another nest. This is a way that they avoid raising their own young. Their young start to fly at the age of 7 to 8 weeks. The year following their birth, they are able to breed. These birds like to feed on grass, plants and small insects. The red-crested pochard is a migratory bird. Their populations are numerous around areas of England. They closely resemble ducks and form large flocks during the winter season. Sometimes you will spot them mixed with other diving ducks. They like to mix with other pochards. For most of the year, these birds are gregarious.
When these birds feed, they do so by diving and dabbling. This species of bird is a protected species, and they should not be hunted. The red-crested pochard's breeding season begins in mid-April and ends in early June. Some males become flightless between the months of June and August. This allows them to prepare for migration. They are mostly active in the early morning hours and in the evening. They also like to live near saline and alkaline lagoons. Habitat degradation and hunting are decreasing their populations. Sometimes they are accidentally drowned in freshwater fishing nets. In Iran, they are hunted for commercial purposes. They are very attractive birds and are often hunted for recreational purposes.