Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Least Concern

Garganey (Spatula querquedula)


French: Sarcelle d’été German: Knäkente Spanish: Cerceta carretona

Anas Querquedula


, 1758,



Normally placed in Anas; or occasionally monospecific Querquedula. Monotypic.


Breeds in Palearctic, mostly between 42° N and 65° N. Winters in Africa, India and SE Asia E to New Guinea.

Descriptive notes

37–41 cm; male 260–520 g, female 240–585 g; wingspan 58–69 cm. Adult male in breeding plumage readily separated from all other ducks; eclipse male,... read more


Readily vocalizes only during breeding season, when male gives harsh rattling or crackling note (... read more


Breeds mostly inland, on swampy meadows, flooded fields and shallow freshwater marshes, pools and... read more

Food and feeding

Aquatic invertebrates (worms, insects and their larvae, crustaceans, molluscs), amphibians, small fish, seeds, roots, tubers and green... read more


Starts Apr/May, with main laying period during latter month, although young seen as early as mid May and as late as Jul in England, and... read more


Highly migratory, wintering chiefly in sub-Saharan Africa (mainly from Mauritania and Senegambia E... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common to abundant throughout range, with European population estimated at 640,000–1,100,000 pairs in early 1990s, of which... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Garganey (Spatula querquedula). 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 28 February 2020).