Tufted duck

Archipelago diver

Tufted duck, photo Jussi Helimäki

The tufted duck (Authya fuligula) is a common sight on the shores of Helsinki, particularly during the migration periods. The male sports a tuft-like crest at the back of its head.

The tufted duck populations of Helsinki and Finland in particular have declined significantly in recent years. Helsinki’s current tufted duck population is estimated to consist of approximately one hundred nesting pairs.

Tufted ducks often nest in black-headed gull colonies, with the gulls taking care of air defence and keeping egg-stealing crows at bay. The tufted duck nests late in the year, with chicks hatching as late as early August. The small ducklings are sometimes prayed upon by the large gulls.