Rosamond Gifford Zoo

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Falcated Duck

Mareca falcata

The male Falcated Duck has an iridescent green and coppery toned head, white throat, a mostly gray body, and long, sickle-shaped inner flight feathers curving downward over the rump and tail. The female is similar to the female wigeon (a species of duck in the same genus), but plainer, with a black bill.

Range & Habitat

This species is found in southeastern Siberia, Mongolia, and northern China to the Kuril Islands and northern Japan.  It winters in southern Japan, Korea, eastern China, northern Vietnam and west to Myanmar and northern India.  It breeds on freshwater lakes, rivers, ponds, lagoons, often in wooded country.  In winter, it also is found on the coast and in larger, shallow waterbodies, rice fields and flooded meadows. 

Conservation Status: Near Threatened

The Falcated Duck is declining due to hunting it for food and for its feathers.


The species diet consists of  a variety of seeds (including rice and grain), green parts of aquatic vegetation and crop plants, grasses, and a few aquatic invertebrates (molluscs, insects)

Life Span


Fun Facts about the Falcated Duck

  • The Falcated Duck was once known as the Falcated Teal.
  •  These birds dabble (make rapid, splashing movements of their bills) and up-end for food in open water near shallow water vegetation, or sometimes graze in grasslands or crops near the water.
  •  They are only very vocal during the breeding season that starts in May and June with their eggs laid in late May and early June.


Image sourced from Minnesota Zoo. 

BirdLife International. (2021). Species factsheet: Mareca falcata. Retrieved January 28, 2021, from

Cornell Lab of Ornithology (Ed.). (2020). Falcated Duck. Retrieved January 28, 2021, from https://birds of the

 Seattle Audubon Society. (2007, June). Falcated Duck. Retrieved January 16, 2021, from


Updated June 13, 2023
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