Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Critically Endangered

Laysan Duck (Anas laysanensis)


French: Canard de Laysan German: Laysanstockente Spanish: Ánade de Laysán
Other common names: Laysan Teal

Anas laysanensis


, 1892,

Laysan Island


Hitherto normally included within A. platyrhynchos. Probable unstable hybrids of A. superciliosa and present species, A. platyrhynchos or A. wyvilliana, found on some Micronesian islands, have been considered a different species, Mariana Duck (A. oustaleti). Most closely resembles A. wyvilliana, but differs in smaller size (mean male weight 456 g vs 638 g#R) (score at least 2); structurally different femur and middle toe (allow 1); dark chocolate-coloured head (3); large white eyering (2); darker overall plumage (1); and distinctive feeding ecology (1). Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

Laysan I, NW Hawaii Is.

Descriptive notes

38–43 cm, 348–548 g. Easily identified as it is the only resident duck on Laysan; very small and dark-headed, with some adult males showing slight iridescence,... read more


Vocalizations apparently similar to platyrhynchos: males give a low, soft, hoarse “quek”,... read more


Selects different habitats at different times of the day: most adults use dense cover and hide in... read more

Food and feeding

Diet comprises brine flies, larvae and adults, noctuid moths, beetles and Artemia brine shrimp. Foraging strategies generally like... read more


Mainly Dec–Jul, occasionally as late as Aug. Long-term monogamy documented, although extra-pair copulations are common. Twenty pairs... read more


Sedentary. Radio tracked birds at Laysan I had mean total home range of c. 18 ha with core area use... read more

Status and conservation

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED. CITES I. Population estimated at 500–680 mature individuals. Native to the Hawaiian Archipelago, it was extirpated from most islands after the... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Laysan Duck (Anas laysanensis). 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 15 December 2019).