Family: Anatidae, Ducks and Geese view all from this family
Description ADULT MALE Has chestnut-orange head with green patch through eye, faintly bordered with yellow. Plumage is otherwise gray and finely marked, except for striking vertical white stripe on side of breast, and black-bordered yellow vent. Bill is dark gray. Eclipse male resembles adult female. ADULT FEMALE Has rather uniform mottled gray-brown plumage; green speculum is sometimes glimpsed in feeding birds. Bill is mainly gray, but with hint of yellow at base. JUVENILE Similar to adult female, but plumage is lighter buff.
Dimensions Length: 12-16" (30-41 cm)
Habitat Invariably found close to water. Nests in dense waterside vegetation beside wooded pools, lakes, and marshes, across northern North America. At other times of year, migrates south and favors more open habitats: freshwater marshes, estuaries, and mudflats.
Observation Tips Locally abundant in winter range.
Range New England, Mid-Atlantic, Eastern Canada, Alaska, Western Canada, Northwest, Southeast, Great Lakes, Texas, Florida, Plains, Rocky Mountains, Southwest, California
Voice Male utters a ringing whistle, while female utters a soft quack.
Discussion Tiny dabbling duck. Gregarious outside breeding season. Typically nervous and takes flight-rising almost vertically from the water's surface-at slightest sign of danger. In flight, both sexes show a green speculum, highlighted by white borders. Sexes are otherwise dissimilar. Feeds on aquatic vegetation and, in summer, invertebrates too.