Male Garganey

Garganey

Scientific name: Anas querquedula

Did you know: The Garganey, a small yet striking duck, undertakes a remarkable journey, migrating from the wetlands of the UK to as far as southern Africa and India for winter!

What Do Garganeys Look Like? (How to Identify Them)

Garganeys are petite dabbling ducks, smaller than Mallards but slightly larger than Teals. 

The male is recognisable by its distinctive broad white stripe over the eye and pale blue forewing noticeable in flight. Their brown and black beaks and grey legs complement their predominantly cream, brown, grey, green, and blue plumage.

Differences Between Male And Female Garganeys

Male Garganeys in breeding plumage boast dark brown backs with pale fringes, a rust-coloured foreneck with white flecks, and a prominent white headband. 

In contrast, females are more subdued, with a scalloped pattern on their bodies and less distinct head markings. Males in eclipse plumage look like females but retain stronger head markings and a white-coloured chin.

What Do Garganeys Eat?

Garganeys have a diverse diet, feeding on both plant materials like seeds, pondweeds, and roots, as well as insects. They also dabble for aquatic invertebrates, amphibians, and small fish,  showcasing their versatile feeding habits.

Where Do Garganeys Live? (Including Migration Info)

Garganeys are secretive breeders in the UK, favouring flooded meadows, shallow wetlands, and areas with abundant aquatic vegetation. 

They are migratory, spending the winter months in southern Africa, India, and Australasia, where they gather in large flocks.

Bird Calls & Songs (The Unique Voices of Garganeys)

The male Garganey is known for its distinctive crackling mating call, adding a sonic signature to its presence. In contrast, the female is relatively silent, capable of producing only a soft quack.

Fun Garganey Facts (Kid Friendly)

  • Garganeys are excellent at ‘dabbling’ – a way of eating by dipping their bills in the water.
  • They can fly quickly and twist through the air like waders.
  • The male Garganey’s eye-catching white stripe makes it easy to spot.
  • These ducks are summer visitors to the UK, leaving for warmer climates in winter.
  • Young Garganeys have a remarkable survival rate of about 65% in their first year.
  • Garganeys are one of the few UK ducks to migrate long distances to Africa.

Facts About The Garganey

Diet: Plant material and insects.
Bird Family: Ducks, geese and swans
Length: 37-41cm
Wingspan: 60-63cm
Weight: 250-450g
Scientific Name: Anas querquedula

The Garganey Can Be Seen In The UK During The Following Months

  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October

Garganey Images

Male Garganey Male
Female Garganey Female
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Hatchling
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Nestling
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Chick
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Fledgling
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Juvenile