Garganey | Anas querquedula

The Garganey Duck, is a rare species that is not often encountered in Southern Africa, the male looks like a miniature version of the Northern Pintail.

Robert's Birding Information: The Garganey

The Garganey is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Anatidae bird family group which includes birds such as Ducks, Geese.

The description for the Garganey (Latin name Anas querquedula) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Anas querquedula can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 110 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 114. You will find a picture of the Garganey on page 96.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Garganey between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition.

The Garganey has a height of 41 cms and weighs around 395 gms. The head is coloured black, brown while the bill is coloured grey, black. The Anas querquedula has a black coloured throat, grey legs and a black, brown coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Anas querquedula has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is black, brown.

Eyes are brown.

Bill is grey, black.

Legs are grey.

Throat is black.

Back is black, brown.

Photo's & Differentiating Between Male, Female & Juveniles

Please click the images below to make them larger:

Male Adult  
Female Adult  
Non Breeding Plumage N/A

Garganey Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.

This bird is a nocturnal feeder and is able to forage in the dark because of the enhanced night vision. It also forages at this time because that's when the prey comes out in the open.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten.

Garganey Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Garganey is found in the Southern African wetlands, riverine forests and moist grasslands.

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Garganey is normally seen in flocks or pairs.