Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Critically Endangered

Pink-headed Duck (Rhodonessa caryophyllacea)


French: Nette à cou rose German: Rosenkopfente Spanish: Pato cabecirrosado

Anas caryophyllacea


, 1790,





Last acceptable record in the wild from 1949; a possible recent sighting (2004) and credible local reports (2005) from N Myanmar#R. In past, locally resident on Gangetic Plain from C Uttar Pradesh S to E Odisha and E to W Assam, Bangladesh, Manipur Valley and Myanmar.

Descriptive notes

60 cm; male 794–993 g, female 879 g. Graceful, long- and pale-necked duck, with peaked head, long bill and rather long legs. Most likely confusion species are Netta... read more


Poorly known. Male gives weak whistle and a mellow, bisyllabic call with a metallic ring, female a... read more


A lowland species. Inhabits secluded and overgrown still-water pools, marshes and swamps in lowland... read more

Food and feeding

Diet apparently comprises animal and vegetable matter. Feeds mainly by dabbling, but also by diving, latter for water weeds, small crabs... read more


Few details known, but season said to start in early summer (Apr, when pair-bonds form) and nest-site reported to be an unlined, circular... read more


Although usually considered to be a permanent resident, short-range, local movements almost... read more

Status and conservation

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED. Considered to be Possibly Extinct by BirdLife International. Any remaining population is assumed to be tiny (< 50 individuals) given the lack of... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Pink-headed Duck (Rhodonessa caryophyllacea). 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 23 February 2020).