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Waterfowl Identification in the Central Flyway

Gadwall (Gray Duck)


Male - Winter

GIF -- Picture of Male Gadwall-Winter

Body: Medium-sized duck, 1 1/2 - 2 pounds, 18-20 inches long. Gray-brown appearance. White belly. Black upper-and undertail coverts. Bill black with trace of orange at base and on lower edge. Feet bright orangish yellow. Wings: White in speculum (only puddle duck with such). Greater coverts black; part of middle and lesser coverts chestnut. Voice: Whistle and nyaak In Flight: White belly and dark rump. White and black wing speculum evident.

Male - Fall

GIF -- Picture of Male Gadwall-Fall

Ranging from mottled grayish brown to near-winter coloration. Dark gray, crescent-marked feathers on chest. Black in tail coverts. Bill orangish. Feet and wings same as in winter.

Female - All Seasons

GIF -- Picture of Female Gadwall

Body: Mottled buff and brown. White belly. Bill yellow-orange with black spotting. Feet bright orangish yellow. Wings: Mottled gray similar to male but with less black and chestnut in coverts. Speculum white and black. Voice: Soft high-pitched quack.

GIF -- Picture of Gadwalls in Flight


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