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Garganeys are quite small ducks (37 - 41cm). The male in breeding plumage has a prominent, white supercilium. The body is heavily spotted at front and rear with pale flanks and long striped scapulars. The eclipse male resembles the female.
Breeding species in much of Europe and Asia. The European population is most numerous in the east. Most if not all of the European birds are found in places like the Volga Delta in the fall and they winter in western Africa (e.g., the Niger Delta), with possible occurrence in southern Sudan.
Vagrants have occured in Azores, Iceland, Hawaii, Aleutian Islands and even at the west coast of North America.
This is a monotypic species which is sometimes placed in its own genus Querquedula.
Breeds inland, preferably on wet meadows, shallow freshwater marshes, small lakes and ponds. In winter in coastal marshes and lagoons, sometimes even at sea.
A shy and wary duck which is often found in pairs or small groups in summer, in winter in big concentrations (eg 77,000 in Senegal).
Starts breeding after arrival in breeding area in April and May. The nest is usually near water on ground, lined with down and feathers. Lays 8-9 eggs.
Feeds on aquatic invertebrates, amphibians, seeds, fish and aquatic plants. Like other Anas Ducks, Garganeys feed dabbling, head-dipping and also picking from surface.
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