Bio Facts: Pochard, Rosy-billed
In Central Chile, on the eastern side of the Andes from central Argentina northward to southeast Brazil
Marshes, shallow waters, duckweed covered ponds, swamps, small lakes with abundant floating vegetation
Males have a bright rosy red bill with a bulbous basal shield that increases in size and color during the breeding season. They are purplish black on head and neck. The breast and back are clack with abdomen and flanks finely vermiculated black and white. The legs and feet are yellow to orange. Females are almost all brown, with a darker back. The bill is bluish and the legs and feet are orange/yellow to grayish.
Seeds, roots, vegetative parts of aquatic plants, grasses
Feeds by dabbling on surface, head dipping and upending in shallow water. Also grazes on land. Rosybills rarely dive, instead they forage on the surface or graze offshore. Flight is swift and often can be sustained for large distances. Breed mainly in October/November in single pairs or loose groups. Nest is made with plant matter and lined with down, over water or at waters edge. Pair bonds are established each year. Nests are well constructed and can contain 30 eggs and are often laid in the nests of other species. They are highly social and may congregate into winter flocks of thousands.
Local bounties are in effect because foraging flocks damage Brazilian rice fields, more by trampling sprouting plants than eating them. Farmers are inclined to destroy all nests they encounter, and some erroneously believe the ducks transmit equine encephalomyelitis.