The Maccoa is the only blue-billed "stiff-tailed" duck in Africa; it is a diving duck with two distinct populations, a smaller concentrated one in east Africa and a larger, more widely dispersed one in southern Africa. The black-headed male in breeding plumage is shown above. The female looks similar to the female Ruddy Duck. Although native to Africa, the name Maccoa derives from Macao, China (meaning generically from an exotic place, cf. Guinea Fowl and Muscovy Duck).
A juvenile or eclipse male on the turn to adult breeding plumage.
Another eclipse male
The female looks similar to the female Ruddy and White-headed Ducks
Males will defend a territory containing one or more females. Females occasionally lay their eggs cuckoo-like in nests of other Maccoas or even of other species.