Anas strepera

A common duck of lakes and ponds, the Gadwall appears drab from a distance. Up close, however, the male shows a remarkable pattern of intricate markings on all of its body feathers.

Interesting Information

  • The Gadwall duck was first described by Linnaeus in his Systema naturae in 1758 under its current scientific name.

  • It is not as gregarious as some dabbling ducks outside the breeding season and tends to form only small flocks.

  • A group of ducks has many collective nouns, including a "brace", "flush", "paddling", "raft", and "team" of ducks.


Adult Description

  • Medium-sized duck.

  • Gray body and paler gray head.

  • Hind end black.

  • White patch in wing, may be hidden.

  • Length Range: 48-58 cm (19-23 in)

  • Weight: 998 g (35.2 oz)

  • Size: Large (16 - 32 in)

  • Color Primary: Gray

  • Underparts: White

  • Upperparts: Brown

  • Back Pattern: Scaled or Scalloped, Mottled

  • Belly Pattern: Solid

  • Breast Pattern: Scaled or Scalloped, Mottled


Similar to adult female.


Photo taken from: The Sibley Field Guide by David Allen Sibley

© 2003 Cornell Lab of Ornithology


Preferred habitats include large, shallow ponds with lots of marsh plants.


Dabbles, filter-feeds at surface of water, tips-up in shallow water, and makes occasional dives in deeper water.


Feeds on pondweeds, naiads, widgeon grass, watermilfoil, algae, seeds, and aquatic invertebrates; forages in deeper water than most other dabbling ducks.



Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
     Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
    Subfamily: Anserinae
Genus: Anas
Species: Anas strepera
    Subspecies: Anas strepera couesi
  Anas strepera strepera

Similar Species

  • No other dabbling duck has a small square white patch at base of wings.

  • All other dabblers that have a black rear end have white just in front of it.

Bird Sound

A raspy "reb.

Eggs look like this

Photo taken from: ARCTOS Collaborative Collection Management Solution