Maccoa duck

Maccoa eend

Maccoa duck (Oxyura maccoa)

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

Species name

Dutch name:
Maccoa eend
English name:
Maccoa duck
German name:
Afrikanische Ruderente
French name:
Érismature maccoa
Scientific name:
Oxyura maccoa

Scientific classification




Black head and upper neck. Lower neck and most underparts chestnut, becoming paler chestnut on flanks and silvery grey brown on centre of belly, vent and under tail converts. Mantle chestnut; lower back and rump brown with grey mottling; upper tail  converts chestnut. Tail narrow and pointed, blackish. Upperwings grey-brown with slight lighter brown freckling; under wings grey white. Bill bright blue, with whitish nail, Legs and feet are grey.

Dark brown crown and nape down to eye. With dark brown stripe from base of bill across cheeks separated from a crown and by whitish stripe. Lower cheeks throat and neck buffish. Underparts grey-brown with darker mottling and faint paler barring, especially on flanks; centre of belly whitish through to undertail converts. Upperparts dark grey-brown with whitish-bluff vermiculation and speckling. Pointed tail blackish. Upperwings grey-brown with slight lighter brown freckling; under wings grey white. Bill Dark grey, with whitish nail and tip. Legs and feet are grey 

More uniform on body, lacking markings above, and more grey then brown below.

Standard Measurements

The male (drake) of the Maccoa duck measures approximately centimeters. The female measures approximately centimeters.
Body Weight (grams):
The male will weight about 725-950 gram. The female will weight about 455-680 gram.
The weight is notoriously variable and can only be used as indication!

The female searches for the nesting site and is involved in nest building alone. Single pairs or loose groups are comon with several females nesting in the territory of one male. Nest is built in thick emergent vegetation (particularly cattails) over water, sometimes using old coot (Fulica spp.) and grebe nests; infrequently in dry scrub on land. Basin formed from leaves of cattails, sometimes with a partial covering dome of reed stems, and lined with down. 

The female Maccoa duck usually lays from 4-8 pale greenish eggs and incubates them for 25-27 days.

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

It doesn't matter what leg that you band, but it is good to have a consistent system.
Suggested: Left leg = Female, Right leg = Male
Preferred food:
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This species is listed as Near Threatened owing to its moderately small population size and ongoing declines resulting from a variety of threats. Further quantitative estimates of the rate of decline may qualify the species for Vulnerable.

Photos of the Maccoa duck

Videos of the Maccoa duck