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The Falcated Duck is a species that captures the eye with its stunning and unique look. It glides smoothly on the water's surface, its head showcasing a striking mix of iridescent green and copper tones that shine under the sun's rays.

This duck species, which was previously classified as a teal, is indigenous to the expansive wetlands in China and Japan. Males of the Falcated Duck species exhibit their brilliant feather colors, whereas females display a more muted palette, yet still possess a quiet charm.

We will detail the dwelling places, nesting behaviors, and migratory routes of the Falcated Duck to give you an insight into the enchanting existence of these captivating birds.

Habitat and Range

ecology and geographic distribution

The Falcated Duck is an adaptable species that thrives in diverse wetland habitats. This bird species is indigenous to East Asian countries like China, Japan, and Eastern and Central Siberia. It occasionally finds its way to Europe and Britain as stray migrants.

The occurrence of the Falcated Duck in some regions could be due to escapes from captivity, but the bird can survive in various wetland environments. Its habitats encompass freshwater wetlands, lakes, ponds, and rivers, along with tundra and boreal habitats.

This duck species exhibits high migratory tendencies, with sporadic reports of sightings in western Alaska. These birds conduct seasonal migrations between their breeding and wintering grounds.

Currently, the conservation of the Falcated Duck does not pose a concern, as it is not classified as a threatened species.

Distinctive Physical Characteristics

The Falcated Duck presents several distinctive physical characteristics.

Its male counterpart shines with an iridescent head, shimmering in hues of green and copper. The female Falcated Duck, on the other hand, mirrors the female Gadwall but stands out with a dark bill.

Unique features of this duck species include long curved tertials and pale scapulars. They wear a silver coat with distinct scalloping and present a triangular white patch on their throat, which is bordered in dark green.

The ducks' size is akin to a Crow or a Mallard, and their wings are notably pointed, complemented by a short tail. The Falcated Duck is known for its direct flight pattern marked by rapid wingbeats.

Sightings of this bird in North America are commonly of escaped captives, but they are occasionally seen in western Alaska.

Anatomy and physiology

study of body structure

The Falcated Duck exhibits distinctive anatomy and physiology, distinguishing it from other duck species. Its unique features are represented in a semantic triple syntax as follows:

  • The Falcated Duck's head is iridescent with a mix of green and copper hues, especially for males.
  • The body of the Falcated Duck is silvery with unique scalloping.
  • The Falcated Duck features long, curved tertials and long pale scapulars.

Both sexes of this unique bird have black bills, brown irises and iridescent green speculums on each wing. During the breeding season, the Falcated Duck bears a crested head that glows with green and purple iridescence.

The head size of this bird is comparable to that of the Gadwall and American Wigeon, but it stands out with its striking green and copper iridescence.

Iridescent Green Feathers

bird with shimmering plumage

The Falcated Duck male indeed exhibits iridescent green feathers, which are a sight to behold. These feathers, with their natural artistry, reflect a spectrum of greens from emerald to jade and turquoise.

The iridescence emerges from the unique microscopic structure of the feathers, which refracts and reflects light, resulting in a striking visual effect. Movement of the Falcated Duck causes the colors to appear to dance and change, enhancing its aesthetic appeal.

The beauty of these iridescent green feathers can be appreciated through a visual representation of their features:

HeadGreen and Copper
BodySilvery with distinct scalloping
Tertial feathersLong and curved
ScapularsLong and pale

This table provides a glimpse into the vibrant hues and distinctive characteristics of the Falcated Duck's iridescent green feathers, highlighting the splendor and complexity of nature's handiwork.

Mating Rituals

elaborate bird courtship behaviors

The Falcated Duck engages in a set of intricate mating rituals, characterized by vibrant displays of its iridescent green feathers.

The male duck, during the breeding season, performs a head-up-tail-up display to exhibit his plumage, further amplifying his appeal by puffing out his crest.

This display often escalates to the male pursuing the female with rapid swimming and head bobbing, an effort aimed at securing her interest.

Such courtship presentations often include synchronized swimming and vocalizations, creating an orchestrated spectacle of motion and sound.

After successfully pairing, the male and female partake in preening rituals and additional synchronized swimming, strengthening their bond in anticipation of their future together.

The mating rituals of the Falcated Duck are a vivid illustration of the complexity and elegance inherent in nature's dance.

Annual Long-Distance Journeys

yearly long distance travel adventures

The Falcated Ducks engage in annual long-distance journeys. These birds exhibit remarkable endurance as they travel from their breeding grounds, situated in the eastern and central parts of Siberia, to various wetland habitats, which serve as their wintering grounds.

The vast distances they traverse emphasize their adaptability. The distinctive sickle-shaped tertial feathers of the Falcated Ducks add to their elegance while they are airborne. These ducks face a variety of environmental challenges while navigating through different landscapes, including lush wetlands and open waters. Nonetheless, they exhibit resilience and hardiness.

Occasionally, the Falcated Ducks appear in unexpected locations like Washington, British Columbia, and Oregon. Their migration is a testament to their ability to thrive in different habitats and their strong migratory instincts.

Melodic Dawn Chorus Calls

The melodic dawn chorus calls are a fascinating feature of the migratory behavior of the Falcated Ducks. In the wetland habitats they traverse, the male of the species produces a symphony of low-pitched, trilled whistles, characterized by a soft, musical quality. This harmonious song resonates through the stillness of the early morning, enhancing the ambiance of the wetlands.

Contrastingly, the female Falcated Ducks produce sounds akin to quacks of the Gadwall species, enriching the soundscape of the wetlands. The melodic dawn chorus calls are thus a distinctive mark of the presence of Falcated Ducks in these serene wetland areas.


protecting natural resources and wildlife

The Falcated Duck is a species with a low conservation concern. This is attested by its wide distribution and adaptable nature, which is central to its survival. Originating from China and Japan, the species proceeds to breed in Eastern and Central Siberia, with some reaching Europe and Britain. This migratory pattern of the Falcated Duck reinforces its extensive geographical range.

Its presence in captivity has also increased, contributing to the species' non-threatened conservation status. The Association for the Conservation of Waterfowl (ACW) plays a pivotal role in this, offering a wealth of information about the Falcated Duck and encouraging involvement through membership or donations.

The Falcated Duck is known to prosper in wetland areas, particularly those dominated by grasses and reeds. Nonetheless, its adaptability permits it to inhabit numerous types of wetland habitats. Therefore, the ability of the Falcated Duck to adjust to different environments, combined with its widespread distribution, results in a low conservation concern.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where Do Falcated Duck Live?

The Falcated Duck lives primarily in eastern and central Siberia. This bird species has also been sighted occasionally in Europe and Britain. The preferred habitat for the Falcated Duck includes areas near water, particularly within tall grass or bushes. These ducks are known for their adaptability to a range of wetland habitats.

Are Falcated Ducks and Common Gulls Found in the Same Habitat?

Yes, Falcated Ducks and Common Gulls can be found in the same habitat. The common gull species characteristics are that they are opportunistic feeders and can be found in a variety of habitats, including coastal areas, inland rivers, and lakes. Falcated ducks prefer wetland areas with dense vegetation for nesting.


In conclusion, the Falcated Duck is a captivating species found in China and Japan. With its distinctive physical characteristics, such as the iridescent green feathers and melodic dawn chorus calls, it is a remarkable bird to observe.

The duck's annual long-distance journeys and preference for nesting near water in tall grass or bushes further add to its unique nature. Although not currently a conservation concern, the Falcated Duck is widely recognized and appreciated in waterfowl collections.