Female Barrows look very familiar to Common females, with the main difference being the bill of the Barrows is more yellow-orange in color, the bill of the common is often only yellow-orange at the tip.
In it's natural habitat, Barrows feed on pondweed, water insects, crayfish, and other crustaceans. Approximately 75% of their diet is thought to be animal matter. In captivity they will need extra protein, such as catfish or trout pellets, added to their feed.
Barrows are cavity nesters and will need a raised wood duck style box for nesting. Wild Barrows would nest in cavities of decaying trees, in the absence of trees nest may be placed in a rocky crevice, hole in a stream bank, or other shelter.
Many Barrows do not breed until their second or even third spring. Males exhibit complex, showy courtship displays, and may become aggressive during the breeding season. Pictured above is a courtship display. Barrows will often take over an entire pond during the breeding seaon, if kept in a mixed collection it is best to have more than one pond in their enclosure so other breeding birds may not be disrupted.
Clutches consist of 6-10 pale green eggs. Incubation last 29-30 days.The young are fully feathered in about 8 weeks. As with many of the diving duck group, the young can be challenging to rear.