Baer’s dive photo and description, where it lives and what it looks like | Report and message

Baer’s dive (lat. Aythya baeri) is a rather rare species of birds that belongs to the order Anseriformes and the family of ducks. It got its name thanks to the discoverer and the one who made the greatest contribution to the study of the species naturalist Karl Baer.


Dimensions are not very large. The body reaches 40-50 centimeters in length, the wingspan is about eighty and the weight is 1-2 kg. The key difference, which can be seen with the naked eye, is the color of the drake’s head it is pure black, although in males of other species it has tints of other colors. The plumage above has a lighter shade than below, as well as that of a fellow white-eyed pochard, but this pattern is less noticeable. Regardless of the reproduction season, to distinguish the female from the male will be a problematic task even for a hinted eye.


The construction of the nest does not begin immediately, because before that the bird must carefully choose the place where its dwelling will be located. Usually this place is the coastal zone of water bodies, for example, lakes. Another interesting fact is the good adaptation among other species. It is not uncommon for pairs to build their nest near colonies of other birds such as gulls or white-winged terns. But there are no clashes or conflicts between different families they live together without interfering with each other.

Where do they live

in Eurasia, the Amur River basin is considered the main habitat. Duck population extends to the most remote valleys and streams. The main condition for choosing a place of residence is the presence of a large amount of aquatic vegetation, without which it will be problematic for a bird to build even a nest, not to mention food. Often representatives of the species can be found in China, but there they live in swamp zones. They usually nest in thickets of large bushes or on hummocks.

Wintering takes place in isolated reservoirs or freshwater reservoirs.

What do they eat

The whole diet depends on where the bird lives and what time of year it is at the moment. This species does not stand out with any selectivity or pickiness and consumes everything that can be found at the bottom of the reservoir. As the name suggests, the way to get food is to dive underwater. Small crayfish, mollusks and other inhabitants of the underwater fauna often enter the stomach. The most nutritious food for ducks is leaves, algae and shoots.


It is important to note that Baer’s dives have their own mating ceremony, which is not repeated in other species. The drakes arrange small races in a circle, flying around the same place, and then shout out with their sonorous voice. This ritual is notable for its beauty and the first to describe it by one of the Russian travelers in his encyclopedia.

The female incubates each chick separately, as in white-eyed pochards. The number of eggs varies, but rarely exceeds 15 at a time. Hatching is relatively short and after a month the first chicks are born. They are looked after not only by the female, but also by the male, helping them learn to fly and showing them how best to get food and not be caught by some kind of predator.

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