What makes the comb duck special?

           Comb ducks are large ducks with black bills. The males and females in the species are different in appearance. Males, being considerably larger in body size, have creamy white heads. Their lower back looks grey and they have blue black upper parts. The male birds have a distinct comb on top of their bills.

          These birds are seen in fresh water lakes or marshlands in tropical regions. They always try to keep away from human habitations. They are generally very silent, though sometimes they can be seen to make a peculiar croaky sound, like a frog or crow.

          They build up their nest in the holes in tree trunks and are seen perching on leafless branches. Their diverse diet includes seeds of grasses, frogs, shoots, water plants, small snails and other invertebrates. A typical bird lives for around 20-30 years.

          Comb ducks are seen in the northern states of India, especially in Haryana. Places like Sultanpur, Manas, Batla and Corbett National Park also host them.