Chinese spot-billed duck

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The Chinese spot-billed duck (Anas zonorhyncha) is a dabbling duck belonging to the family Anatidae. The Chinese spot-billed duck is distributed in Russia, Mongolia, Korea, Japan and China. It is a rare visitor to Indian Subcontinent.

Taxonomy of Chinese spot-billed duck

  • Scientific Name: Anas zonorhyncha
  • Common Name: Chinese spot-billed duck
  • French: Canard de Chine; German: China-Fleckschnabelente; Spanish: Ánade picopinto chino;
  • Other names: Anas poecilorhyncha, BirdLife International (2004, 2008); Eastern spot-billed duck;
  • Family: Anatidae › Anseriformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Species author: Swinhoe, 1866
Anas zonorhyncha was earlier included with Anas poecilorhyncha as subspecies. Later Anas poecilorhyncha was removed and given the full species status.

Indian birds - Chinese spot-billed duck - Anas zonorhyncha
Indian birds - Chinese spot-billed duck - Anas zonorhyncha


The Chinese spot-billed duck is a medium sized bird and the males are larger than the females. The male measures, 55 to 65 cm in length and weighs 1,000 to 1,350 grams. The female bird weighs 750 to 1,000 grams. The wingspan is 80 to 95 cm. It has a scaly patterned body with a green speculum and a band of white tertials. The body is brown-grey. The dark bill is tipped yellow.


These Chinese duck species inhabit both inland and coastal wetlands such as ponds, lakes, pools, streams, creeks, estuaries, tidal flats and marshes.

Feeding habits

The Chinese spot-billed duck feed on aquatic plants, roots, shoots, tubers, other plant matters and aquatic insects.


Breeding depends upon the climatic conditions and water availability. Usually these ducks breed during April to July in Hong Kong.


These duck species are found only in Asia. They occur in Southeast Russia, Mongolia, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and East China. During winter they migrate to Southern China. Sometimes they move up to Northeast India, Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia.

Movement Patterns

The Chinese spot-billed duck species are partially migratory, the northern breeding populations move southwards to lower latitudes during winter.

Status and conservation

The population of Chinese ducks is estimated to number between 800,000 to 1,600,000 individuals. There is slow decrease in population. Human activities and habitat loss are the threats.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated these Chinese duck species and has listed them as of "Least Concern".

Biological classification of Anas zonorhyncha
Species:A. zonorhyncha
Binomial name:Anas zonorhyncha
Distribution:Russia, Mongolia, Korea, Japan and China. Rare visitor to Indian Subcontinent;
Feeding habits:vegetable matter, aquatic plants, seeds, roots, shoots;
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern

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