When you first glimpse a male Gadwall, you might think you're looking at a female Mallard. But take a closer look, and you'll see plumage as richly and subtly colored as an English gentleman's tweed jacket. For a closer look, click Enlarge under the photo. The Gadwall now nests all across the northern US and into Canada. You can probably see one of these handsome birds on a pond or in a marsh near you. Some may even breed in your neighborhood.
The Gorgeous Gadwall
Written by Ellen Blackstone
This is BirdNote!
[Call of Gadwalls, male and/or female]
When you first glimpse a male Gadwall — a type of duck — you might think you’re looking at a female Mallard. But take a closer look, and you’ll see plumage as rich and subtly colored as an English gentleman's tweed jacket. This dabbling duck of marsh and pond is a beauty. [Call of Gadwalls]
Long a duck of the western prairies, the Gadwall expanded its range and now breeds all across the United States. Its populations have flourished, with the return of favorable conditions in the northern Great Plains. The protection of wetlands helped, as did also — unfortunately — the invasion of the Eurasian watermilfoil plant, one of the Gadwall’s favorite foods. [Call of Gadwalls and splashing water]
The Gadwall is a bird of the Old World, too. It breeds across much of Europe and into the Ukraine, wintering in Southern Sudan and Middle Eastern countries, including Iraq and Iran.
In the US, some Gadwalls migrate, but others remain through the winter. You can probably see one of these handsome birds on a pond or a marsh near you. Some may even breed in your neighborhood. Find out, when you visit our website, BirdNote.org. [Call of Gadwalls] I’m Michael Stein.
Call of the Gadwall provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Recorded by W.W.H. Gunn.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2010 Tune In to Nature.org November 2010 / 2021 Narrator: Michael Stein
ID# 111506GADWKPLU GADW-01b