Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Least Concern

Southern Pochard (Netta erythrophthalma)


French: Nette brune German: Rotaugenente Spanish: Pato morado
Other common names: Red-eyed Pochard, African Pochard, South African Pochard (brunnea), South American Pochard (erythrophthalma)

Anas erythrophthalma


, 1833,

Lagoa do Braço, Villa de Belmonte, east Brazil


Sometimes placed in genus Metopiana or in monospecific Phaeoaythia; apparently not closely linked to other members of Netta. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • N. e. brunnea (Eyton, 1838) – Eritrea S to Western Cape Province (South Africa).
  • N. e. erythrophthalma (Wied, 1833) – fragmented distribution in W South America from Venezuela S to NW Argentina; E Brazil S to São Paulo State.
  • Descriptive notes

    48–51 cm; male 592–1010 g, female 484–1018 g. Broad white wing band, conspicuous in flight. Male has slight peak to rear of crown; has no eclipse plumage,... read more


    Most data pertain to African race brunnea: male vocalizations include a soft, almost... read more


    Large bodies of rather deep, permanent or temporary, standing waters (including sewage ponds) from... read more

    Food and feeding

    Chiefly seeds but also roots and vegetative parts of aquatic plants (including water lilies, bladderwort, duckweeds, bulrushes, rice),... read more


    Season variable according to locality and water levels, but mainly towards end of local wet season across Africa (brunnea), e.g.... read more


    Mainly sedentary, but subject to some dispersive movements during local dry season. This... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). In South America, nominate subspecies generally scattered and local, and apparently vanishing after dramatic decline for unclear... read more

    Recommended citation

    Carboneras, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Southern Pochard (Netta erythrophthalma). 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 7 December 2019).