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10 Ducks With Red Eyes

Duck with red eyes cinnamon teal.

Are you curious about ducks with red eyes? These birds are not only fascinating to look at but also have unique characteristics that set them apart from other ducks. From the canvasback to the wood duck, many ducks have striking red eyes.

Ducks with red eyes are often misunderstood or overlooked despite their distinct beauty. Many people assume that these birds are sick or injured, but their red eyes are a natural feature.

Red eyes are often a sign of good health and vitality in ducks. Some ducks with red eyes are native to North America, while others can be found in other parts of the world.

Red-Crested Pochard

Red-crested pochard duck with red eyes.

This large diving duck is native to southern Europe and extends to Central Asia and Mongolia. The scientific name of this species is derived from the Greek “Netta”, meaning duck, and Latin “rufina”, meaning golden-red.

The male Red-Crested Pochard has a striking appearance with a large, rounded head, rusty-orange head, long red bill, and black breast. Meanwhile, the female is less colourful but still distinctive, with a dirty buff overall colour, pale cheeks, a dark face, and a rounded brown cap.

In flight, both sexes show a thick white wing stripe and whitish underwings. The Red-Crested Pochard feeds mainly by dabbling and diving, and it prefers larger lakes and reservoirs with fringing reeds.

Cape Teal

Cape Teal is a medium-sized duck species easily recognisable by its pink bill and red eyes. This duck species is found in southern Africa and is commonly found in saltwater wetlands such as natural saltpans and man-made saltworks.

Cape Teal has a pale grey body with mottled feathers throughout its body. The speculum is green and black and bordered with white. The female is slightly smaller, paler in colour, and less speckled than the male.

Cape Teal is similar to Red-billed Duck in appearance, but without a dark cap and with paler overall colouration. The pink bill of Cape Teal separates it from all other ducks and grebes in the region.

White-Cheeked Pintail

Duck with red eyes white-cheeked pintail.

The White-Cheeked Pintail is a very distinctive duck with its white cheeks, throat, and tail contrasting with its brown body. The bill has dark sides at the base. In flight, it shows pale brown and green patches on the wings.

Widespread in the Caribbean and South America, this duck sometimes wanders to Florida, mainly in winter. Sightings elsewhere in eastern North America might pertain to escapes from captivity.

Cinnamon Teal

Duck with red eyes cinnamon teal.

If you’re looking for a duck with striking red eyes, the Cinnamon Teal is a great place to start. This species of dabbling duck is found in western North and South America, and it’s known for its bright reddish plumage on the male and duller brown plumage on the female.

The Cinnamon Teal is a small duck, measuring only about 14 inches in length. The male has a bright cinnamon-coloured head, neck, and breast, while the female is mottled brown with a darker brown head. Both sexes have distinctive red eyes, which can be seen from a distance.

These ducks prefer freshwater habitats and can be found in marshes, ponds, and wetlands. They feed mostly on plants, such as seeds, leaves, and aquatic vegetation.

Sunda Teal

Sunda teal duck with red eyes.
Mat & Cathy Gilfedder, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You might be interested in the Sunda Teal if you’re looking for a small, brown duck with ruby-red eyes. This duck is known for its distinctive rounded forehead, noticeable bulge, and bright green-and-white wing patches.

The Sunda Teal is typically found in freshwater, brackish, and occasionally marine habitats. It primarily forages by dabbling and usually moves in pairs or small groups. This species is native to Indonesia and is often seen in open wetlands.

If you’re interested in observing the Sunda Teal, you can visit wetlands in Indonesia. The Sunda Teal is common in these areas, and you’re likely to see them moving in pairs or small groups.

Chestnut Teal

Duck with red eyes chestnut teal.

If you are looking for a small, beautiful duck with red eyes, check out the Chestnut Teal. This dabbling duck is known for its distinctive markings and is common in wetlands and waterways across Australia.

Male Chestnut Teals have a glossy green head, chestnut brown neck, breast, and flanks, dark brown upper body and wings, and a black undertail with a contrasting white patch. They also have bright red eyes, which make them stand out. Females, on the other hand, have a plain grey colouration with a rounded crown.

Chestnut Teals are found in a variety of wetland habitats, including freshwater lakes, swamps, and rivers. They are native to Australia and can be found throughout the country, from the tropical north to the temperate south.

Wood Duck

Wood duck with red eyes.

The wood duck is a colourful waterfowl found across much of North America. Males are known for their multicoloured plumage and bright red eyes, while females are greyish-brown with white eye rings and blue speculum. Both sexes have crests on their heads.

The markings of the male wood duck include red eyes and a red bill with a yellow patch at the base. The top of the bird’s head and crest are metallic purplish-green. The sides of the face are black, and a white stripe runs along the neck. A small white stripe also extends up each cheek.

Rosy-billed Pochard

Rosy billed pochard duck with red eyes.

The rosy-billed pochard is a beautiful duck species native to South America. It is a medium-sized bird easily recognisable due to its striking red bill and red eyes. The males have a purplish-black head, neck, and breast with grey sides, while the females are brownish-grey with lighter bellies.

These ducks are usually found in freshwater habitats such as lakes, ponds, and marshes. They feed on a variety of aquatic plants and invertebrates. The rosy-billed pochard is a social bird and can often be seen in large flocks.

Red-breasted Merganser

Red-breasted merganser duck with red eyes.

The red-breasted merganser is a diving duck commonly found in North America. These birds are known for their shaggy-headed appearance, with males having a dark green crest on their head, a red bill, and red eyes. The adult male in breeding plumage also has a reddish-brown mottled breast and a white neck collar. Females, on the other hand, have rusty heads and grey bodies.

Red-breasted mergansers are aquatic birds typically found in coastal areas, estuaries, and large lakes. They are skilled divers and feed on fish, crustaceans, and other aquatic invertebrates. These birds are also known for their unique courtship displays, which involve males swimming rapidly around females with their heads held high.

These birds are migratory, with populations in North America typically breeding in Alaska and Canada and wintering along the coasts of the United States and Mexico. Red-breasted mergansers are also found in other parts of the world, including Europe and Asia.


Duck with red eyes canvasback.

The canvasback is a large diving duck found in North America. It is the largest diving duck in North America and is known for its distinctive triangular head and bright red eyes. The male canvasback has a reddish-brown head, black chest, and white body, while the female is greyish-brown with dark brown eyes.

Canvasbacks breed in lakes and marshes and are found in the northern United States and Canada. During winter, they migrate south to the southern United States and Mexico. They eat various aquatic plants and animals, including molluscs, crustaceans, and insects.

The canvasback is an attractive bird and is often sought after by hunters. However, its population has declined recently due to habitat loss and hunting. Efforts are being made to conserve the canvasback and its habitat to ensure that future generations can enjoy this beautiful bird.