Rosy-billed Pochard (Netta peposaca)

Rosy-billed Pochard

[order] ANSERIFORMES | [family] Anatidae | [latin] Netta peposaca | [authority] Vieillot, 1816 | [UK] Rosy-billed Pochard | [FR] Nette demi-deuil | [DE] Rosenschnabel-Ente | [ES] Pato Picazo (Arg, Bo, Uy), Pato Negro (Cl) | [NL] Peposaka-eend


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Netta peposaca SA s


Netta is a genus of diving ducks. Unlike other diving ducks, the Netta species are reluctant to dive, and feed more like dabbling ducks. These are gregarious ducks, mainly found on fresh water. They are strong fliers; their broad, blunt-tipped wings require faster wing-beats than those of many ducks and they take off with some difficulty. They do not walk as well on land as the dabbling ducks because their legs tend to be placed further back on their bodies to help propel them when underwater. The probably extinct Pink-headed Duck, previously listed as Rhodonessa caryophyllacea, has recently been shown by phylogenetic analysis to be closely related to the Red-crested Pochard, so has now been transferred to the same genus, as Netta caryophyllacea. However, this has been questioned due to numerous and pronounced peculiarities of that species.

Physical charateristics

The Rosy-billed Pochard or simply Rosybill is among the most striking of southern South American ducks. The male is largely black with gray sides and a white area on the crissum; but most prominent is the bright red bill and a red eye. The bill itself has a large rounded knob at the base, which is bright crimson, while the rest of the bill gradually fades towards a pale pinkish towards the tip. Females, as in many ducks, are duller and browner and generally nondescript; the contrasting white crissum being the most obvious feature. In flight this duck is also an attention grabber as its largely dark plumage contrasts strongly with white primaries and secondaries.

Listen to the sound of Rosy-billed Pochard

[audio: Pochard.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 72 cm wingspan max.: 84 cm
size min.: 55 cm size max.: 56 cm
incubation min.: 27 days incubation max.: 29 days
fledging min.: 50 days fledging max.: 75 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 8  
      eggs max.: 12  


South America : South. The Rosy-billed Pochard is endemic to South America. It is found in Argentina, central Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay and southern Brazil.


Shallow small lakes, swamps, marshes with abundant floating vegetation, in open country, rather than open and deep waters.


Nesting begins February/March in Paraguay, otherwise October/November. Nest is built in dense waterside vegetation, with a downy lining. 8-12 eggs are laid which are incubated by the female for about 28 days. Up to 30 eggs can be found in a nest when dump-nesting occurs. This species might lay eggs in other species nests. The broods of several nests might amalgate.

Feeding habits

They feed mainly on seeds, roots and aquatic plants which they eat by dabbling mainly though they do sometimes dive or graze.

Video Rosy-billed Pochard


copyright: Josep del Hoyo


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Rosy-billed Pochard status Least Concern


The population in southern Argentina migrates northward during the austral winter, reaching Brazil and southern Bolivia. It is a vagrant to the Falkland Islands

Distribution map

Rosy-billed Pochard distribution range map

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