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Length 33-36 cm, mass 186-305 g.
The sexes are similar, but the female is much lighter on her underside. Both have blue-grey feet, black head, brown spotted breast, some green on their wings and a blue bill.
Well-vegetated ponds and lakes, freshwater marshes, inland waters and flood plains.
Diet includes insects, crustaceans, seeds and vegetation.
A nest is built in over water in a dense clump of emergent vegetation (usually bulrushes, reeds or sedges); 6-8 cream eggs are laid and incubated for 25-27 days by the female.
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