Lake duck

Argentijnse stekelstaarteend

Lake duck (Oxyura vittata)

The Lake duck (Oxyura vittata) is a stiff-tailed duck from the family of water birds that includes ducks, geese, and swans (Anatidae).

Species name

Dutch name:
Argentijnse stekelstaarteend
English name:
Lake duck
German name:
Argentinische Ruderente
French name:
Érismature ornée
Scientific name:
Oxyura vittata

Scientific classification




Black head and neck, back extending down hind neck and just reaching the mantle. Underparts and upperparts deep Chestnut-red, grading to silvery grey on belly, vent and undertail converts( sometimes some rusty coloration to converts.) Tail blackish. Upperwing blackish with scattered rusty feather tips. But insufficient to show in field; underwing dark gray-brown, slightly lighter towards body. Bill bright blue. (Non breeding bill drab gray.) Legs and feet dark grey.

Grayish-black crown down to eye and nape, and stripe from gape to nape, above which a pale buff-white stripe below eye. Cheeks, chin, throat and upper foreneck also buff-white. Underparts mid brown, coarsely marked buff, forming bars, particularly on flanks; paler on belly, vent and undertail converts Tail blackish. Upperwing blackish with scattered rusty feather tips. But insufficient to show in field; underwing dark gray-brown, slightly lighter towards body. Bill, legs, and feet dark grey.

As female, but paler above, browner and less barred below. Tail shorter.

Standard Measurements

Body Length (cm):
The male (drake) of the Lake duck measures approximately 35-40 centimeters. The female measures approximately 35-40 centimeters.
Body Weight (grams):
The male will weight about 640 gram. The female will weight about 640 gram.
The weight is notoriously variable and can only be used as indication!

Prefers pools, marshes and shallow lakes with extensive emergent vegetation. Larger lakes and lagoons outside breeding season.


Nest is built in dense vegetation, a flat platform over water. The males usually abandon mate during this period. It wil however defend female during laying. Young are tended by female only, they fledge after 8-9 weeks.

The female Lake duck usually lays from 3-5 eggs and incubates them for 23-28 days.

Artificial incubating:

The ideal relative humidity for incubating most waterfowl eggs is 55% (ground nesters) and 40% (cavity nesters). The temperature is usually 37.4°C. Set ventilation as recommended by the incubator manufacturer. Eggs must be turned, either automatically or by hand, a minimum of 4 times a day. As the duckling develops there is a loss of water from the egg and the air sac gets bigger. In normal development of an egg with a 23-28 days incubation, the air sac occupies about a third of it three days earlier. Cleanliness is vital and ideally eggs should be moved to a separate hatcher at this point, where the humidity should be increased to 65% and even higher once they have pipped internally.

Bird banding:
Recommended closed leg band ring size for the Lake duck is 9 mm.
The leg band ring can only be applied on a young stiff-tailed duck at around 11-12 days old.

It doesn't matter what leg that you band, but it's good to have a consistent system.
Suggested: Left leg = Female, Right leg = Male
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Lundi Micro Regular
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Floatable special rearing feed for all types of aquatic ornamental fowl - especially for the cultivation of trees as well as greening ducks.

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Maintenance food:
Lundi Regular
Lundi Regular
Lundi Regular
Lundi Regular
Lundi Regular

Lundi Regular with a protein content of 20%, valuable Spirulina and high-quality by-products is optimally balanced in its composition maintenance food for water ornamental fowl of all kinds. Especially green teal and Whistling ducks that are not dependent on a very high protein content, are well supplied.

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Floating full food for all sea ducks, green ducks, eider ducks and geese, especially in the moulting and breeding phase ideally suited. Packed with wholesome raw materials, natural vitamins and trace elements, this performance food with a protein content of 30% forms the basis for lifelong vitality.

Photos of the Lake duck

Videos of the Lake duck