The Pochard

(A. ferina) of northern Europe and Siberia is even more closely related to the Red-head than is the Canvas-back. Like the Red-head it has the whole head and upper neck chestnut-rufous, but has the bill banded with dark and pale bluish gray and the general color of the plumage more finely waved with dusky lines. The female differs from the female Red-head in hardly more than the color of the bill. This species nests mainly in the North, but quite a number still linger in the British Islands, although the draining of the marshes and fens is constantly causing a decrease. The nesting habits are much like those of its. American cousin, the nest being placed in a dense tuft of reeds or other marsh-loving vegetation, and lined with dried reeds, grasses, and a scanty inner lining of down.

Other more or less closely related Old World species are Baer’s Pochard (A. baeri) of eastern Siberia and central Asia, the White-eyed Pochard (A. Nyroca) of Europe and Asia, the African Pochard (A. erythrophthalma), which is also said to be the same as the bird of southern Brazil, and the Australian White-eye (A. australis), so called on account of the white iris.