Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Least Concern

Hartlaub's Duck (Pteronetta hartlaubii)


French: Ptéronette de Hartlaub German: Hartlaubente Spanish: Pato de Hartlaub

Querquedula Hartlaubii


, 1860,

Camma River, Gabon


Sometimes placed in genus Cairina. Individuals from NE DRCongo with extensive white on head were formerly considered a geographical race, albifrons, but amount of white found to be individually variable. Monotypic.


Equatorial W Africa from Guinea to Ghana and from Nigeria E to South Sudan and S to W Uganda, S DRCongo and N Angola.

Descriptive notes

56–58 cm; male 925–1140 g, female 770–805 g. Blue wing patch is diagnostic in flight, making species unlikely to be confused with any other widfowl. Male... read more


Vocalizations include quacking “ko-ko-ko-ko” or “kakakakarr” in flight, conversational “whit-whit-... read more


Secluded marshes and pools in dense, swampy tropical evergreen forest and small rivers and streams... read more

Food and feeding

Mostly aquatic invertebrates (insects, arachnids, molluscs, crustaceans) and some vegetable matter (seeds, roots). Reported to be mainly a... read more


No nests ever found in wild, but breeding thought to occur during rainy season with pairs probably territorial year-round; evidence of... read more


Mainly sedentary throughout range, with only local movements recorded, e.g. in SE Liberia becomes... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Formerly considered Near Threatened. Population E of Dahomey Gap, which is more widespread and presumably larger, estimated at 10,000... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Hartlaub's Duck (Pteronetta hartlaubii). 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 20 November 2019).