Visual Search | Wizard | Browse
Bird name:


Anas strepera




Geese and Ducks (Anatidae)





Euring 5

iBird Ad

Breeding Location:

Lakes, Rivers, Reservoirs, Gravel pits

Breeding Type:

Monogamous, Polygamous, Promiscuous

Egg Colour:

Smooth waxy and cream or pale green.

Number of Eggs:

5 - 15

Incubation Days:

24 - 28

Egg Incubator:


Nest Material:

Grass and dry leaves, with down lining.

Nest Location:

On the ground in thick vegetation, preferably on islands.


Most migrate


Gadwall: Duck similar in size and shape to Mallard. Head grey brown, breast and sides grey, finely barred black. Back grey-brown with fine black barring and some tawny-brown feathers. White belly, black vent and rump. Black and white patch in wing, and red-brown patch on upperwing. Grey bill. Female light brown, streaked and mottled black. 3ight, grey-brown head with black on crown and thin, black line through eye. White belly and white patch in wing. Bill grey with orange sides. Juvenile like female, eclipse male like female but more grey.

Range and Habitat

Gadwall: Resident breeder and migrant visitor. Visible year round in central and southeast England; eastern Scotland, eastern Northern Ireland, southeast Ireland, and southeast Wales. Winter grounds include Cornwall and central Ireland. Lakes, marshes and gravel pits with vegetation provide habitat.

Breeding and Nesting

Gadwall: Breeds in grassy wetlands; nests in thick vegetation, often on protected islands. Nest-building is in loose groups or in solitary pairs, with seasonal monogamous pair bonds. Nest is constructed of grass and leaves, lined with down. Female incubates eggs and cares for young.

Foraging and Feeding

Gadwall: Eats mostly plant matter such as seeds, shoots, leaves, roots and stems of aquatic plants. Often forages while swimming with head under water. Also eats grasses and cereal grains on land. In winter, may eat invertebrates and small animals.


Gadwall: Utters a high, reedy "quack."

Similar Species

Gadwall: The adult female, eclipse male, and juvenile are similar to the Mallard, which is larger, more stocky, and has a more round crown. Male Mallard's green head and yellow bill are distinctive.

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.
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
Birds do not have two separate cavities for excrement and reproduction like humans do. In birds, there is one single entrance/exit that suits both functions called the vent, cloaca or anus.
4 and 6 letter alpha codesX

The four letter common name alpha code is is derived from the first two letters of the common first name and the first two letters of common last name. The six letter species name alpha code is derived from the first three letters of the scientific name (genus) and the first three letters of the scientific name (species). See (1) below for the rules used to create the codes..

Four-letter (for English common names) and six-letter (for scientific names) species alpha codes were developed by Pyle and DeSante (2003, North American Bird-Bander 28:64-79) to reflect A.O.U. taxonomy and nomenclature (A.O.U. 1998) as modified by Supplements 42 (Auk 117:847-858, 2000) and 43 (Auk 119:897-906, 2002). The list has been updated by Pyle and DeSante to reflect changes reported by the A.O.U from 2003 through 2006.


The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) was established in the mid-1990 s as a cooperative project among several federal agencies to improve and expand upon taxonomic data (known as the NODC Taxonomic Code) maintained by the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

To find the ITIS page for a bird species go to the ITIS web site advanced search and report page at You can enter the TSN or the common name of the bird. It will return the ITIS page for that bird. Another way to obtain the ITIS page is to use the Google search engine. Enter the string ITIS followed by the taxonomic ID, for example "ITIS 178041" will return the page for the Allen's Hummingbird.

Parts of a Standing birdX
Head Feathers and MarkingsX
Parts of a Flying birdX