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Indian Spot-billed Duck - BirdForum Opus

Nominate subspecies
Photo © by vinaydarbal
Mysore, India, June 2010
Anas poecilorhyncha


At 58-63 cm (23-25 in) slightly bigger than a Mallard.
The body is blackish and heavily scaled. The head is withish with a black cap and eyestripe. The terminal half of the inner tertial are white and the bill is black with a yellow tip. Males of the nominate subspecies and haringtoni have a variable red spot at the base of the bill, haringtoni a smaller one.
Shows a green speculum in flight.

Nominate subspecies
Photo © by Rakesh
Kavdi, Pune, India, November 2006


Found on the Indian Subcontinent (including Sri Lanka) and east to Burma, extreme south China and Laos.


A dabbling duck of the genus Anas. Forms a superspecies with Eastern Spot-billed Duck, Pacific Black Duck and Philippine Duck.

Was formerly considered conspecific with Eastern Spot-billed Duck.


There are two subspecies[1]:

  • A.p. haringtoni in East Assam, Burma, South China and Laos
  • A.p. poeciloryncha in the Indian Subcontinent.


Various types of wetlands, at the coast and inland. Prefers shallow water with vegetation.


May move seasonally.


Breeding season variable. Usually in single pairs but may form loose small colonies. Nests in a pad of vegetation on the ground or in trees, always near water. Lays 7-9 eggs.


Feeds vegetarian, mostly seeds, parts of grasses, sedges and aquatic vegetation. Only occasionally water insects are taken. Like other dabbling ducks this species feeds head-dipping and upending in the water.


Listen in an external program

Recording © by Alok Tewari
Keoladeo National Park, India, Dec.-2016
Two individuals calling in succession.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/

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