Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Least Concern

Flying Steamerduck (Tachyeres patachonicus)


French: Brassemer de Patagonie German: Langflügel-Dampfschiffente Spanish: Pato vapor volador

Micropterus patachonicus

P. P. King

, 1831,

Strait of Magellan


Present species and T. leucocephalus form a clade#R. Some populations in Falkland Is previously thought to be of this species are now considered to be a flying population of T. brachypterus#R (which see). Older species name Oidemia Patachonica not clearly identifiable; previously applied to this species, but has now been formally suppressed for purposes of priority, in order to protect current valid names for both present species and T. pteneres#R. Monotypic.


Mainly coasts of S Chile (S from Ñuble), extreme S Argentina (S from Río Negro) and Tierra del Fuego.

Descriptive notes

66–71 cm; male 2100–3600 g, female 1665–3118 g. Like other Tachyeres has white secondaries and greater coverts; the smallest of its genus. More... read more


In territorial display, male makes repeated mewing, descending whistles (described as “Rasping... read more


Most adaptable of Tachyeres, occurring both inland, on freshwater lakes, pools and rivers... read more

Food and feeding

Consumes primarily aquatic invertebrates (molluscs and crustaceans, especially Grapsidae crabs), captured both in salt and fresh water by... read more


Starts Oct/Nov, sometimes perhaps earlier on Falklands, with season continuing until Jan. Monogamous and pair-bond possibly life-long. In... read more


Mainly sedentary, with only small-scale movements along coast after breeding season. Has occurred N... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Overall population estimated at up to 25,000 birds in continental South America and 200–400 pairs (and 600–1200 birds) in... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Flying Steamerduck (Tachyeres patachonicus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 9 April 2020).