Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Least Concern

Magellanic Steamerduck (Tachyeres pteneres)


French: Brassemer cendré German: Magellan-Dampfschiffente Spanish: Pato vapor del Magallanes
Other common names: Magellanic Flightless Steamerduck, Flightless Steamerduck, Fuegian Steamer Duck

Anas pteneres

J. R. Forster

, 1844,

Tierra del Fuego


In recent phylogenetic study, present species and T. brachypterus were found to form a clade#R; however, another study showed latter to have diverged much earlier from all three mainland species#R. Previously considered to form a superspecies with T. leucocephalus and T. brachypterus. Monotypic.


Coast from SC Chile (Chiloé I) S to Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, including Cape Horn archipelago and Staten I.

Descriptive notes

74–84 cm; male 4950–6500 g, female 3400–5000 g. Largest of genus, massive-bodied with sturdy bill; no other flightless Tachyeres shares same range... read more


Vocalizations similar to those of other Tachyeres, although considered to be somewhat more... read more


Frequents rocky coasts, where may be found several miles offshore. Breeds along shoreline, in... read more

Food and feeding

Dives, dabbles or upends in rather shallow waters among kelp beds; main diet consists of aquatic molluscs (Mytilidae) and crustaceans; some... read more


Starts Sept/Oct, although considerable variation in laying dates reported, especially in northernmost parts of range. Monogamous and pair-... read more


Sedentary, with only small-scale dispersion along adjacent coasts, although there is a published... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common or fairly abundant within its restricted range, with an overall population estimated at 25,000–100,000 birds, although... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Magellanic Steamerduck (Tachyeres pteneres). 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 14 December 2019).