Common in wetlands from marshy and reed-fringed lakes to open reservoirs; locally on the sea in winter, especially when lakes freeze. Boldly patterned male distinctive: black overall with bright white flanks (whiter than scaup) and floppy crest. Female dark brown overall with short crest, paler flanks, staring golden-yellow eyes, and often a messy white patch at base of bill. In flight, both sexes show bold white wingstripe. Often in flocks in winter; feeds mainly by diving, but often spends much of day sleeping. Widespread breeder across Eurasia, wintering to central Africa, India, and Southeast Asia. Rare winter vagrant to North America, where almost always found singly among flocks of scaup. Compared with scaup, Tufted Duck always shows very dark blackish back, and even nearly tuftless females are darker than scaup with more limited white patch on face.
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