|Scientific name:||Anas penelope|
Common winter visitor to wetlands throughout Ireland from September and April.
A medium-sized duck with large rounded head, small bill and pointed tail. The males has a russet head and neck with a creamy yellow crown and forehead. The breast ispinkish-grey, and the rest of the body is grey and white with a black stern. The female is a greyish brown colour with various mottled patterns. Speculum dull, dark.
Call is a loud whistling note.
This species grazes on coastal seagrass and algae, particularly on Zostera spp. and Enteromorpha spp., and also feeds regularly on grasslands and cereal crops.
Breed on shallow freshwater marshes, under tussocks adjacent to lakes and lagoons or on lake islands.
Widespread - they occur on coastal marshes, freshwater and brackish lagoons, estuaries, bays. Many on inland wetlands, lakes, rivers and turloughs. The Icelandic breeding component of this population winters mostly in Ireland and western Britain, though some continue on to parts of continental Europe.
Irish Wetland Bird Survey (I-WeBS)
Fairly widespread and common winter visitor. Can be found in flocks up to and over 1,000 birds on large wetlands and water bodies.
Non-breeding in Ireland although breeding does take place in Scotland and extreme north of England.