Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Least Concern

Gadwall (Mareca strepera)


French: Canard chipeau German: Schnatterente Spanish: Ánade friso

Anas strepera


, 1758,



Normally placed in Anas; occasionally in monospecific Chaulelasmus (now regarded as obsolete). Hybridizes infrequently with A. platyrhynchos#R#R. Probable race †couesi (Line Is) apparently not seen subsquent to its discovery in 1874, and considered extinct. One extant subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. s. strepera (Linnaeus, 1758) – breeds in much of North America and N & C Eurasia between 40° N and 60° N; winters S to Central America, SC & SE Eurasia and N Africa between 20° N and 60° N.
  • M. s. couesi (Streets, 1876) – Teraina, in Line Is (C Pacific).
  • Descriptive notes

    45–58 cm; male 650–1000 g, female 550–850 g; wingspan 84–95 cm. Medium-sized, rather nondescript dabbling duck, with mid-sized, slender bill and steep... read more


    Male vocalizations, especially, are distinctive, with pronounced sexual dimorphism; male calls... read more


    Breeds in various types of freshwater or brackish wetlands, particularly shallow ones with abundant... read more

    Food and feeding

    Essentially vegetarian; seeds, leaves, roots and stems of aquatic plants, especially green parts of plants, particularly submerged or... read more


    Starts Apr/May, with egg laying generally from second half of Apr in N & C Europe and during early May in Turkey (although ducklings... read more


    Partially migratory; northernmost breeding birds descend to lower latitudes in winter, e.g. those... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Overall has benefited from effects of human eutrophication processes that have increased aquatic plant biomass (including that of non... read more

    Recommended citation

    Carboneras, C., Kirwan, G.M. & Motis, A. (2020). Gadwall (Mareca strepera). 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).