The Garganey Duck is a small dabbling duck. It breeds in much of Europe and western Asia, but is strictly migratory, with the entire population moving to southern Africa, India, and Australasia in winter, where large flocks can occur. This species was first described by Linnaeus in 1758 under its current scientific name. Like other small ducks such as the common teal, this species rises easily from the water with a fast twisting wader-like flight.
Male – The male Garganey duck has a brown head and breast, a distinctive broad white stripe or crescent over the brown eye, upper-parts are dark brown with pale feather edges, loose black and white scapulars covering the green speculum, light greyish flanks and belly, and grey beak and legs.
Female – The female Garganey duck is brownish with a dark crown and dark eye-stripe. The female Garganey is similar to the female Teal but has a white throat and is paler.
Eclipse – The male in Eclipse plumage is similar to the female but has a more reddish-brown plumage, and the wings retain the breeding colorization.
Size: – Typical Adult is 15-16 inches.
Food: – Molluscs, crustaceans, aquatic insects, aquatic plants, seeds, and grain.
Habitat: – Wetlands, marshes, flooded grasslands, and lakes throughout Europe and central Asia. Winters in central Africa, and from Pakistan across to southern China, Philippines, Indonesia, and Australasia.
Breeding Season: – From May onwards.
Eggs: – 9 to 10 (creamy-buff color).
Notes: – The Garganey duck is a small dabbling duck. It is highly migratory, breeding throughout Europe and central Asia and then flying south to Africa and Australasia during the winter.
The different types of wild ducks can be grouped into puddle, aka “dabbling” and diving ducks. The dabblers mostly feed in smaller bodies of shallow water or along shorelines, where they are able to tip their bodies forward to reach their food on the bottom. There are divers who feed in deeper water where they dive and pursue their quarry. Some of these birds, the Harlequin Duck for example, actually dives to the bottom of fast-flowing waters and feeds on life forms attached to rocks.