Mobile bird identification
Bird Field Guide


Anas strepera
Wildfowl (Ducks)
Order: Anseriformes

Family: Anatidae

Genus:  Anas

Species: A. strepera
From a distance the male Gadwall is a rather dull looking duck, however a closer look reveals a beautifuly patterned and distinctive bird.

The male Gadwall is a large surface feeding duck with a small head, grey body, black stern and a pale back. It has a small white speculum.

Adult Male Winter
Gadwall distribution
Winter visitor
Resident bird
Passage Migrant
Summer visitor
General distribution:
Mostly breeds in middle and Western Europe. In winter it moves to more Westerly areas.

Favours freshwater lakes and large rivers which are well sheltered. In winter can be found on more open waters such as reservoirs. In summer it prefers water which is fringed by reeds.
The Gadwall is a large surface feeding duck which is only slightly smaller than a Mallard. When seen up close it is a beautifully marked bird but at a distance looks decidedly dull. Gadwall are frequently seen to be in the company of Coots during the winter.
Nice footage of a male Gadwall, joined by a female later in the video, note the bill and speculum off the female.
Thanks to:
Male Gadwall duck
Identifying a female Gadwall duck
Identifying a male Gadwall duck
Vermiculated grey body and breast

Light brown head

*White speculum

Black stern

* key ID points
Adult Female

*White speculum

*Dark bill with yellow sides

Pale head

* key ID points
Thanks to:; (Modified)
The female Gadwall is not unlike a female Mallard, however she has a white belly in flight, a white speculum and a dark bill with yellow edging. The Gadwall is slightly smaller than a Mallard.
Female Gadwall showing speculum
Thanks to: (Modified)
Note the white speculum and yellow edged bill on this female Gadwall. Also not the plain pale rounded head.
Gadwall male flying

*Note distinctive white speculum in flight

Gadwall female flying

*Note distinctive white speculum and plain brown back in flight

Thanks to:
Male Gadwall duck in Summer
Adult Male Summer (Eclipse)
In Summer the Male is not unlike the Female, however note the greyish patch on the rump and the darker bill.
Thanks to:;(Modified)