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South America: found from southern Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay, south-eastern Brazil, through Argentina, Chile to Tierra del Fuego, and additionally in the Falkland Islands and South Georgia Islands.
Three subspecies are recognized:
All three forms have in the past been considered distinct species, and their lumping apparently was not accompanied by any arguments1.
Variety of wetlands, from high-elevation lakes and marshes to lowland lakes and rivers in open country.
Ground nesters; the nest is concealed in amongst vegetation and lined with down and grass. The clutch consists of 4 to 10 eggs.
A dabbling duck, they also wade in shallow water or graze in waterside grasslands, only occasionally diving. Their diet consists of seeds, roots, grass and algae.
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