A large, square-headed duck, the male has a deep orange-crested head with red bill and black neck and breast, brown back, white flanks and black stern. Female is more coffee coloured with pale cheeks and dark bill. In flight, both sexes display broad white wing-bars; male looks black below. Swims high and proud.
Inhabits well-vegetated large rivers and lakes. Feeds on aquatic plants and animals by diving and upending.
Rather scarce winter visitor throughout lowlands.