from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Any of various diving ducks of the genus Aythya, especially A. ferina of Europe and Asia, which has gray and black plumage and a reddish head.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Any of various ducks in the genera Aythya and Netta.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. See poachard.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A duck, Fuligula or Æthyia ferina, belonging to the family Anatidæ and subfamily Fuligulinæ more fully called the red-headed or red-eyed pochard, also dunbird.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. heavy-bodied Old World diving duck having a grey-and-black body and reddish head
Confirming the presence or absence of any of these animals, particularly the pochard, is difficult however as ‘the marsh is so extensive and difficult to travel in that the duck could easily go undetected inside it’ (Young & Smith 1989, p. 23).
WWT Washington Wetland Centre's aviculture warden Owen Joiner flew to Africa last month on an emergency mission to save the pochard, which is the world's rarest duck.
Important breeding wetland species include marbled teal Marmaronetta angustirostris (VU,35), white-headed duck Oxyura leucocephala (EN,400, which nest mainly in artificial ponds in surrounding areas), white-eyed pochard Aythya niroca (VU), purple gallinule Porphyrio porphyrio and crested coot Fulica cristata.
Nine of the critically endangered species targeted by the grants are reptiles, including the Siamese crocodile, Antiguan racer, and river terrapin; seven are birds, including the Siberian crane, Polynesian ground-dove, and Madagascar pochard; and five are mammals, including the giant sable and the duiker, in addition to the Ethiopian wolf.
I think that the latter point is significant here, as the posts on eagle owls, phorusrhacids, the Madagascar pochard, and the 10 bird meme were not spin-offs of my own ideas, but were instead initiated by the writings of others.
Other notable species include South American pochard Netta erythrophthalma and golden-plumed conure Leptosittaca branickii (VU).
High records for common pochard and greylag goose Anser anser (3,200: 18,000 in the 1970s) show that Ichkeul is their most important wintering site in northwest Africa. 600 (4% of known world population) of the threatened white-headed duck Oxyura leucocephala, were seen in 1977.
The most numerous species are wigeon Anas penelope (39,000: 112,000 in the1970s), common pochard Aythya ferina (120,000 in 1971) and coot Fulica atra (36,000: 188,000 in 1973).
In the east, the Madagascar pochard (Aythya innotata) has only been recorded three times since 1960; the Alaotra grebe (Tachybaptus rufolavatus, CR) has not been confirmed in the last decade.
So back to the latest news from the world of pochards: the amazing rediscovery of the Madagascar pochard, also known as the Madagascar white-eye.