Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)


Maccoa Duck (Oxyura maccoa)


French: Érismature maccoa German: Afrikaruderente Spanish: Malvasía maccoa

Erismatura maccoa


, 1838,

Indian Isles = South Africa


Relationships among Oxyura species uncertain; present species considered by some to be more closely linked to O. leucocephala than to the more externally similar O. vittata and O. australis#R. Monotypic.


E Africa from Eritrea S to N Tanzania; S Africa from Namibia and Zimbabwe S to Western Cape Province (South Africa).

Descriptive notes

46–51 cm; male 820 g (one bird), female 516–720 g. Unmistakable in range, where there is no other Oxyura, although birds in female-type plumage might be... read more


Considered to be generally silent, but male gives vibrating, bullfrog-like “prrr...” lasting 2–3... read more


Shallow bodies of fresh and alkaline waters with extensive bordering reedbeds and areas of open... read more

Food and feeding

Seeds of aquatic plants (e.g. Persicaria and Polygonum sp.), plant debris and aquatic invertebrates (insects and... read more


Season variable according to locality and water levels, but usually extended; in Transvaal (South Africa) all months, peak Sept–Dec;... read more


Mainly sedentary, with only small-scale dispersive movements (mainly South African population),... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Occurs at fairly low density, with total population estimated at 30,000–55,000 birds in late 1990s, of which 15,000–25,000 were in N & E Africa,... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C., Kirwan, G.M. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Maccoa Duck (Oxyura maccoa). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 21 February 2020).