Falcated Duck

Mareca falcata




Ducks, Geese and Swans (Anatidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Creamy white

Number of Eggs:

6 - 10

Incubation Days:


Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

On ground near water, under cover of tall, dense vegetation

Nest Material:

Dried grasses and forbs, down





Falcated Duck: Medium-sized dabbling duck named for long, black and white, sickle-shaped (falcated) tertial feathers extending over black rump. Body white, black, gray in finely-scaled pattern; bolder on breast. Crested iridescent head is green and purple-brown. Throat is white with black ring; black tail and black-green speculum are both edged in white. Bill is black; top of base has small white spot. Female has scaled brown appearance overall with paler belly, gray bill, slight crest, short tertials, and no bill spot. Juvenile resembles female but is a paler buff-brown.

Range and Habitat

Falcated Duck: Breeds and winters in southeastern Asia but strongly migratory. Birds seen in North America beyond Alaska may be escaped captives from private collections or wild birds. Favors wetlands, lakes, ponds, rivers, estuaries, and marshes. Near-threatened in the wild. Most U.S. sightings occur between Pacific and Californian coasts, Baja peninsula, Mexico, India, and Canada.

Breeding and Nesting

Falcated Duck: Six to ten creamy white eggs are laid in nest built on ground, near water, under cover of tall, dense vegetation. Nest typically made of grasses and forbs and lined with down. Hen incubates eggs for about 26 days, sometimes assisted by male.

Foraging and Feeding

Falcated Duck: Eats aquatic plants, seeds, and roots, but also occasionally takes snails, insects, small fish and frogs. Generally a surface feeder or dabbler but will sometimes tip or upend to feed or, more rarely, may dive. Sometimes grazes on land on forbs and grasses. Prefers marshy areas, ponds, estuaries, quiet rivers, and shallow coastal bays.


Falcated Duck: Utters a clear, low-pitched, trilled whistle.

Similar Species

Falcated Duck: Green-winged Teal is smaller, has chestnut head with a green ear patch bordered in white, and a buff breast.

The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
The upper front part of a bird.
Tufts of feathers on the head of the bird.
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
The brightly colored area on the wing (secondaries of the wing) on several duck species.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X