Garganey (Anas querquedula)

The Garganey (Anas querquedula) is a small dabbling duck from the family of water birds that includes ducks, geese, and swans (Anatidae).

Species name

Dutch name:
English name:
German name:
French name:
Sarcelle d'été
Scientific name:
Anas querquedula

Scientific classification




Has Blackish crown and upper nape above broad white stripe from in front of eye, tapering down hindneck; black patch on chin. Cheeks, throat and sides of neck reddish brown, finely streaked whitish. Breast browner with fine, black crescentic markings, sharply demarcated from grayish baby blue-vermiculated flanks, darker towards rear; belly white; ventral region and undertail-coverts whitish with dark brown bars and spots. Mantle brown with black markings; elongated scapulars blackish, strongly striped baby bluish fringed with white, and drooping over closed wing; back and rump, upper tail coverts and tail blackish. Primaries Dark grey, but forewing pale blue-grey, with broad with stripe in front of iridescent dark Speculam, edged very narrowly behind with white; underwing white centered, with dark leading edge and grey flight feathers. Bill, legs, and feet dark grey.
Call a distinctive mechanical rattle 

They are slightly paler overall and have larger streaks on their plumage and more distinct eye stripes. They also have a second less distinct stripe beneath their eyes, and a distinct pale patch by their beak. They have brown irises. 

Similar to female. First fall males molt into their breeding plumage first winter

Standard Measurements

Body Length (cm):
The male (drake) of the Garganey measures approximately 31-36 centimeters. The female measures approximately 31-36 centimeters.
Body Weight (grams):
The male will weight about 370-395 gram. The female will weight about 370-395 gram.
The weight is notoriously variable and can only be used as indication!

Garganey are hardy, but shelters and/or good ground cover should be provided for protection in prolonged /severe frost. These ducks are easy to manage, and suitable for mixed collections but are quiet and may be bullied. Feed as other Dabbling Ducks: wheat, pellets, greenfood, grass, bread.

These ducks are shy and somewhat difficult to breed. Dense cover and seclusion, without competition, should be provided. Nest in areas of grass or low-growing plants at a distance from water, lay April to May, with replacement clutches sometimes laid as late as June if the eggs are removed. They are very sensitive to disturbance while sitting and broody or artificial incubation is suggested. Ducklings are not difficult to rear; they start feeding easily, but need care and protection when young. Starter crumbs with greenfood such as duckweed may be fed.

This species may hybridise with Anas species, Aythya species; they should be kept separated from the closely-related Blue-winged teal (Anas discors) and Cinnamon teal (Anas cyanoptera). Hybrids also reported with Wood duck (Aix sponsa).

The female Garganey usually lays from 7-9 cream to pale coffee eggs and incubates them for 21-25 days.

Bird banding:
Recommended leg band size for the Garganey is 7 mm.
The leg band can only be applied on a young small dabbling duck at around 10 days old.

It doesn't matter what leg that you band, but it is good to have a consistent system.
Suggested: Left leg = Female, Right leg = Male
Preferred food:
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Photos of the Garganey

Videos of the Garganey