Maccoa Duck

Introduction: Maccoa ducks (Oxyura maccoa) prefer permanent wetlands in open grasslands and semi-dry country. They are almost exclusively aquatic only coming to land to sleep and preen. They roost in loose rafts and are often observed with black-necked grebes and southern pochard.

Distribution: Coastal regions such as Swakopmund and Walvis Bay, Terrace Bay, Möwe Bay and Torra Bay. Inland records include Etosha National Park and the Windhoek region.

Diet: These ducks dive into bottom muds feeding mainly on invertebrates such as small snails, water fleas, seeds and roots.

Description: This genus are small, squat birds that float on the water with the tail either flattened or raised. They have characteristic stiff-tails and their legs are set way back on the body, both features that enable the Maccoa duck to dive. Legs and feet are grey-brown. Their plumage is often confused with the southern pochard.

Breeding: Habitats usually contain stands of vegetation such as rushes and sedges built by the females. Between 4 and 9 eggs are laid between February and March with an incubation period of 25 to 27 days. As nests are anchored to vegetation, they are prone to flooding by rising water.

Size: 48cm t 51cm.

Weight: 810g.

Birds of Namibia Wildlife of Namibia

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