The Falcated Duck (Mareca falcata) is a wetlands bird in the dabbling duck family. It is related to the Gadwell, Mallard, Pintail, Wigeon, and Shoveler.
The Falcated Duck has a large head with a peaked forehead. The male has a purple-chestnut and bright green head and mane, with a white throat, white foreneck, and yellow beak. It has a green collar, grey body, and black crescents (sickle shapes) on its chest. The female is dark-brown with a long grey beak. Both the male and female have orange webbed feet.
It grows to 48-54 centimetres (19-21 inches) tall, with a wingspan of 80-88 centimetres (31-35 inches).
The Falcated Duck is common across Eurasia, from countries in Europe to eastern Asia. It migrates to eastern Asia in winter. It prefers wetlands, such as river basins, lakes, ponds, rice paddies, and floodplains.
It eats aquatic plants, seeds, roots, snails, frogs, and insects. It feeds on the surface of the water or by dabbling its beak in the water.
It builds a nest on the ground near water, hidden by tall grass. The female lays 6-9 eggs, which hatch of 23-24 days. The chicks become independent after about 24 days.
[Location of photographs: Berlin, Germany]
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM