Falcated duck

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The falcated duck (Mareca falcata) is a dabbling duck belonging to the family Anatidae.

The falcated duck species are distributed in Southeast Asia, Indian Subcontinent and Eastern Asia, including Russia, China, North Korea, Mongolia and Japan.


  • Scientific Name: Mareca falcata
  • Common Name: Falcated duck
  • French: Canard à faucilles; German: Sichelente; Spanish: Cerceta de Alfanjes;
  • Other names: Anas falcata Georgi, 1775; Falcated Teal;
  • Family: Anatidae › Anseriformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Species author: Georgi, 1775
Earlier Mareca falcata (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was placed in the genus Anas.

Mareca falcata non-breeding males and females differs from other Anas species by buff belly, greyish legs, and distinctive body shape.

Indian birds - Falcated duck - Mareca falcata
Indian birds - Falcated duck - Mareca falcata


The falcated duck is a medium sized bird and the male is larger than the female. The male measures, 45 to 55 cm in length and weighs 600 to 770 grams. The female weighs 420 to 700 grams.

The maned head of breeding male has green and bronze iridescence. The throat is white, the undertail-coverts are buff and black and the tertials are arched and elongated.

The female and eclipse male have dark brown plumage and paler buff belly. These birds are very vocal during breeding season and the male has a short low whistle “tyu-tyu-vit ... tyu-vit and wavering uit-trr. Female has a hoarse quack.


The falcated duck species inhabit wooded or open lakes, water meadows during the breeding season.

The wintering ducks are observed in wetlands, rivers, streams, flooded grasslands and lakes. They are occasionally seen in coastal lagoons, marshlands and estuaries.

Feeding habits

The falcated duck species dabble in open water near emergent vegetation. They are also observed grazing on grasslands and crops. They feed seeds, aquatic vegetation, roots, shoots, grains and tubers.


The breeding season of the falcated duck species is May to July. During the breeding season these duck species form monogamous breeding pairs.


The falcated duck species breed in Eastern Asia, including Russia, China, North Korea, Mongolia and Japan.

They winter in Central China and Southeast Asia, including Indian Subcontinent, Myanmar and Vietnam. Vagrant ducks have been observed in Europe and North America.

Movement Patterns

The falcated duck species are highly migratory moving between breeding grounds in North and Eastern Asia and wintering grounds in central China, Southeast Asia and Indian Subcontinent.

Status and conservation

The global population of falcated duck is estimated to be more than 89,000 individuals. The species appears to be declining in southern China in the breeding range. With feared moderately rapid decline, these species are treated as 'near threatened'.

Hunting for food, local trade in wild duck meat, degradation of the breeding grounds, hybridization with other species and hybrid fertility are the major threats.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated these falcated duck species and has listed them as "Near Threatened".

Biological classification of Mareca falcata
Species:M. falcata
Binomial name:Mareca falcata
Distribution:eastern Asia, southeast Asia, Indian Subcontinent;
Feeding habits:seeds, grains, nuts, plant matter, insects;
IUCN status listing:
Near Threatened

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Image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Falcated_duck_1.jpg
Author: Francis C. Franklin | License: CC BY-SA 4.0
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