Harteman Wildfowl, presented by Jan Harteman
The rosy-billed pochard, alternatively named rosybill, or rosybill pochard is a duck with a distinctive red bill on males and a slate-colored bill on females. Though classified as a diving duck, this pochard feeds more like a dabbling duck.
The species name peposaca is derived from a Guaraní word for "showy wings", referring to the broad white stripe that is only visible with stretched out wings.
The rosy-billed pochard is endemic to South America. It is found in Argentina, central Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay and southern Brazil. The population in southern Argentina migrates northward during the austral winter, reaching Brazil and southern Bolivia. It is a vagrant to the Falkland Islands.
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern (IUCN, 2012). The population is estimated to number 1,000,000 individuals.
By Dan Cowell
Rosybills are very easy to propagate in aviaries. The hens will use nest boxes (we keep several just in case), but prefer to nest on the ground among vegetation and lines the nest with down. The breeding season begins around the middle of May and the hens will lay a clutch of 10 to 14 eggs that are incubated for about 27 days. Rosybill hens do make great mothers.
The ducklings are easy to raise and are interesting to watch as they try to immitate evey thing mother does! The drakes will gain their adult plumage the first years, but hens may not start laying until they are two.
A great duck for a mixed collection, Rosybills get along great with other species, but can be somewhat aggressive of territory. Be sure to allow enough room for each pair to establish their own areas. They are Winter hardy as long as they have a nice dry shelter to escape the elements. Being a diving duck, Rosybills prefer to have a pond or a deep watereing pan so they can submerge themselves. They will often spend the night in the water.
Rosybills will do well in a small aviary that is well planted. If you are planning a mixed collection, you will want a bigger aviary of course, to allow each species its own breeding territory. I would have to recommend this wonderful duck to the beginner, their almost friendly dispostion makes them great for those who want a calm duck for their aviaries.
Above: adult drakes Rosy-billed pochard
Above: adult female Rosy-billed pochard
Above: adult drake Rosy-billed pochard