Garganey (Spatula querquedula)

Garganey (Spatula querquedula)

The Garganey (Spatula querquedula) is a small-sized duck species belonging to the family Anatidae. It is found in parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa, and is known for its distinctive plumage, which includes a colorful breeding male with a dark head and chestnut breast.

Physical Characteristics:

The Garganey measures around 32-41 centimeters (13-16 inches) in length, with a wingspan of approximately 70-80 centimeters (28-31 inches). The male has a distinctive plumage during breeding season, with a dark head, a chestnut breast, and a gray body with black and white markings. The female has a mottled brown and grey plumage.


The Garganey feeds primarily on aquatic plants, such as pondweeds and watermilfoils, as well as small invertebrates, such as snails and insects. The bird is able to dive to depths of up to 1 meter (3.3 feet) to find food.

Reproduction and Lifecycle:

The breeding season for the Garganey typically occurs between April and June, depending on the location. These birds breed in wetland habitats, such as marshes and lakes. They build a shallow scrape in the ground, which they line with grass and other vegetation.

The female lays 8 to 12 eggs, which are incubated by the female for around 21-25 days. After hatching, the chicks are able to leave the nest almost immediately and are able to feed themselves within a few hours of hatching. The young birds are able to fly at around 4-5 weeks old and become fully independent within a few weeks of fledging.

Conservation Status:

The Garganey is currently listed as a species of “Least Concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to its wide distribution and stable population. However, the bird could face potential threats from habitat loss due to wetland drainage and other human activities. Conservation efforts focus on habitat preservation, monitoring populations, and reducing disturbances to nesting sites to ensure the long-term survival of the species.

Updated: 20 April 2023 — 15:41

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