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Falkland Steamer Duck

From Opus

Alternative names: Falkland Steamer Duck; Falkland Steamerduck; Logger

MalePhoto © by StrikingSlugEast Cove, Falkland Islands, March 2009
Photo © by StrikingSlug
East Cove, Falkland Islands, March 2009
Tachyeres brachypterus


[edit] Identification

Length 61-76 cm (24-30")
Short wings with rump and dorsal part extending beyond wing-tips. Overall mottled gray and brown, with conspicuous white eye-line that extends down the back of the neck. Underparts white. Male has bright orange bill with a large dark nail; head becomes gradually white as the bird gets older. The female is always dark-headed, slightly darker overall with a bill that is mostly greenish-grey.

FemalePhoto © by Joseph MorlanWhalebone Cove, Falkland Islands, 3 March 2018
Photo © by Joseph Morlan
Whalebone Cove, Falkland Islands, 3 March 2018

[edit] Similar Species

Similar to Flying Steamer-Duck but with heavier neck, shorter wings and tail, and stouter bill. Occurrence of Flying Steamer-Duck on the Falkland Islands is controversial. All the Steamer-ducks are very similar in appearance.

[edit] Distribution

Falkland Islands endemic

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species[1].
Fulton et al. (2012) [4] found that the individuals of T. patachonicus on the Falklands are actually flying individuals of T. brachypterus.

[edit] Habitat

ChicksPhoto © by StrikingSlugCarcass Island, Falkland Islands, 9 November 2009
Photo © by StrikingSlug
Carcass Island, Falkland Islands, 9 November 2009

Rocky coasts, particularly adjacent to kelp beds.

[edit] Behaviour

Flightless. Forages off rocky coasts, particularly sheltered bays protected from strong waves. Pairs or small groups may flock in protected harbors.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from
  2. Carboneras, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2018). Falkland Steamerduck (Tachyeres brachypterus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 26 May 2018).
  3. Dickinson, EC, ed. 2014. The Howard and Moore Complete Checklist of the Birds of the World. 4th ed. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0956861122
  4. Fulton, T.L., Letts, B. & Shapiro, B. (2012) Multiple losses of flight and recent speciation in steamer ducks. Proc. Royal Soc. London (Ser. B Biol. Sci.) 279: 2339–2346.
  5. Gill, F & D Donsker (Eds). 2018. IOC World Bird List (v8.1). doi : 10.14344/IOC.ML.8.1. Available at
  1. Jaramillo, A. 2003. Birds of Chile. Princeton & Oxford: Princeton Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0691117409
  2. Remsen, J. V., Jr., J. I. Areta, C. D. Cadena, S. Claramunt, A. Jaramillo, J. F. Pacheco, M. B. Robbins, F. G. Stiles, D. F. Stotz, and K. J. Zimmer. Version [6 April 2018]. A classification of the bird species of South America. American Ornithologists' Union.

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