Maccoa Ducks

Maccoa Ducks (Oxyura maccoa)

The Maccoa Ducks (Oxyura maccoa) are small African stiff-tailed ducks named for their long stiff tail feathers, which are erected when these ducks are at rest.

Distribution / Range

Maccoa Ducks occur in two main areas:

A Male Maccoa Duck Resting On A Rock
A Male Maccoa Duck Resting On A Rock
  • Eastern Africa from Sudan and Ethiopia to Tanzania and west to eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire); and
  • Southern Africa from Zimbabwe to Cape Province, South Africa.

When breeding, they are found in shallow fresh waters. After the breeding season, they may also inhabit brackish and saline lakes.


The Maccoa Duck measure between 48 – 51 cm in length, including tail.

Adult males have a mostly chestnut plumage, except for a black head. They have blue bills.

Adult females are mostly grey-brown with a dark brown crown, nape and cheek stripe. They have dark grey bills.

A Male Maccoa Duck Close-up View
A Male Maccoa Duck Close-up View

Diet / Feeding:

Ducks generally feed on larvae and pupae usually found under rocks, aquatic animals, plant material, seeds, small fish, snails and crabs.


Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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