The Marbled Duck formerly bred in large numbers in the Mediterranean region, but is now restricted to a few sites in southern Spain, northwest Africa and in Israel.
Appearance: – The Marbled duck has a creamy-white and sandy-brown colored plumage with brown markings giving a marbled effect, dark eye-patch which can extend to the nape, slight crested appearance, blackish beak. The legs and feet are greeny-brown or dull yellow. Both sexes are similar.
Size: – Typical Adult is 15-17 inches.
Food: – Aquatic plants, seeds, and insects. Feeds by dabbling, up-ending, and occasionally diving.
Habitat: – Wetlands, shallow lakes, and marshes in Spain, north Africa, Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria, north-west India, and western China. Winters in west Africa (south of the Sahara), Iran, Pakistan, and India.
Breeding Season: – May (south Europe, and north Africa), or early June and later.
Eggs: – 9 to 14 (yellowish-white color).
Notes: – The Marbled duck used to be classified as a dabbling duck but is now classed as a diving duck. This duck is regarded as vulnerable after a major reduction in population during the 20th century caused by loss of habitat and hunting.
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.