Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Aves (Birds) Order: Anseriformes Family: Anatidae
Pink-headed Duck (Rhodonessa caryophyllacea) is now believed to be extinct. It was last reported in 1935 from Bihar, India. Size: 60 cm.
Identification: Large, long-bodied and long-necked duck, with dark brown body and foreneck. Deep pink head and hind neck. Bill pink, legs and feet reddish black. Females and juveniles similar but duller. Possibility of confusion with Red-crested Pochard, as darker crown and nape of female and whitish-pink head could suggest head pattern of female of that species. In flight look for a bulky body, broad wings, long neck and short tail coupled with unique head-and-body coloration.
Habits: Formerly inhabited secluded pools and marshes among tall grass in northeastern India. Occurred in pairs or small parties, with flocks of 30-40 on record. Recorded as sometimes perching in trees. Considered to have been shy, wary and rather elusive birds.
Food: Omnivorous, taking water weeds and molluscs. Fed by dabbling on water surface while swimming, but also said to dive occasionally.
Breeding: Breeding season June-July. Nested on ground among tufts of tall grass, fairly close to water.
Status: Believed extinct. Two unconfirmed sightings, both from remote wetlands of Myanmar. 5 Pink-headed Ducks were reported from Mali Kha River near Machanbaw in the state of Kachin in winter of 1965/66. In winter of 2004, a team from Birdlife International reported a probable sighting of this duck from Kachin (Myanmar).