British Waterfowl Association

Hartlaub’s Duck

Portrait of Hartlaub's Duck
Hartlaub's Duck - Ian Gereg
Hartlaub's Ducks on a branch
Hartlaub's Ducks - Pinola Conservancy

Pteronetta hartlaubii

Named after German naturalist Gustav Hartlaub, it is native to the equatorial region of west and central Africa. 

Primarily occupying rivers, lakes and streams, they will spend most of their time on large expanses of water during periods of moult. Hartlaub’s Duck tend to feed mainly at night.

This large-bodied duck is a dark cinnamon-red colour, with light blue wing coverts.  Males have a distinctive white mark at the end of the bill, which is not present in the female.

Hartlaub's ducklings
Hartlaub's ducklings - Pinola Conservancy

Hartlaub’s Ducks are available in captivity, but not plentiful. They are quite aggressive and may not do well with pen mates. They lay a clutch of 7-10 eggs, which hatch in about 30 days.  Both male and female take part in rearing the young, the male being particularly aggressive when defending the nest.