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31 October 2015

Birds of Tunisia

100m : White-headed Duck (白頭硬尾鴨) ; 600m : Ferruginous Duck (白眼潛鴨)
600m : Moussier's Redstart (摩希爾氏紅尾鴝) ; 600m : Marbled Duck (雲石斑鴨)
Tunisia (2004)
29th May, 2015. Bardoc

Tunisia is a country much undervisited by birders in the spring. It has plenty to offer both for bird-lovers and history-lovers, plus comfortable tourist resorts. white-headed duck is a small stiff-tailed duck. Adult males have a grey and reddish body, a blue bill and a largely white head with a black cap and neck. Adult females have a grey-brown body with a white face and a darker bill, cap and a cheek stripe. Length is 43–48 cm and weight is 580–750 g. Ferruginous Duck breeding habitat is marshes and lakes with a metre or more water depth. These ducks breed in southern and eastern Europe and southern and western Asia. They are somewhat migratory, and winter farther south and into north Africa. The adult male is a rich chestnut colour with a darker back and a yellow eye. The pure white undertail helps to distinguish this species from the somewhat similar tufted duck. The female is similar but duller, and with a dark eye.

Moussier's Redstart is a small passerine bird in the genus Phoenicurus, formerly classed as a member of the thrush family, but is now classified as an Old World flycatcher. It is an endemic resident breeder in the Atlas Mountains of northwest Africa. Its habitat is open woodland in rocky areas from sea level up to 3000 m altitude in the mountains. Marbled Duck is a medium-sized duck. It used to be included among the dabbling ducks, but is now classed as a diving duck. The scientific name, Marmaronetta angustirostris, comes from the Greek marmaros, marbled and netta, a duck, and Latin angustus, narrow or small and rostris billed.

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