from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The common pochard or red-headed duck, Fuligula ferina.
  • noun The ruddy duck, Erismatura ribida.
  • noun The female scaup duck, Fuligula marila.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The pochard; -- called also dunair, and dunker, or dun-curre.
  • noun An American duck; the ruddy duck.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The pochard.
  • noun The ruddy duck.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

dun +‎ bird, from its colour.


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  • The female pochard is called a dunbird.

    January 7, 2009

  • Just the female? I've only ever heard it as a general nickname for the pochard or Ruddy Duck (male and female).

    January 7, 2009

  • Perhaps because "dun" also means brown or dull-colored, and females are often less brightly colored than males?

    *notes that this is not true of bears*

    January 7, 2009

  • Sure, that makes sense. All I'm saying, though, is that I've never heard dunbird used to refer specifically to female pochards.

    No matter--it's on my list either way, and it reminded me of the many other nicknames for the Ruddy Duck. :-)

    January 7, 2009

  • To call the sole reference for dunbird I used "general" would probably be quite kind. Your knowledge of the term's usage, reesetee, is better than mine. I've never seen a pochard, and it has been since 1985 since I've seen a bluebill (yes, I have a nascent birding life-list where I keep records of such things). Thanks for guiding me towards honesty and thoroughness!

    January 7, 2009

  • Oh, don't sell yourself short--you've reminded me of a slew of terms that were missing from my "bird nicknames" list. I certainly didn't intend to correct you per se, just to ask where you might have seen it as reference to females only. This kind of thing is inordinately interesting to me, you see. :-)

    Anyway, welcome to another lister!

    January 7, 2009