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Systematic classification and distribution
It nests in central, southern Europe, central Asia and in the central-western states of North America. It migrates south to the tenth north parallel. In Italy, it goes from September to November and spends the winter in March.
Gadwall (photo Rintoul www.utahbirds.org)
Gadwall (photo Alan And Elaine Wilson www.wildlifenorthamerica.com)
It weighs 700-850 grams, is a surface duck, beak shorter than the head, those lead in the male, dark and with orange margins in the female. Rounded orange-yellow legged tail. In a wedding suit the male has: light gray head, equally gray and dark speckled chest, gray vermiculated chest and sides, white belly and black undertail. The female is brownish spotted with fawn with white belly which allows to distinguish it from the female of mallard and pintail. The male in eclipse dress is more similar to the female but darker, and also both sexes have a white, black and reddish brown wing mirror.
Fast and almost vertical flight. If injured, it can swim underwater. It feeds on vegetables at night but there is no shortage of mollusc insects etc. The species is monogamous and the female lays only once 8-12 eggs incubated for 27-28 days. The female takes care of the offspring for 7 weeks.
It is the least common of the ducks being hunted, however it is in numerical increase.
La Gadwall goes out to look for food so it avoids competition with species that occupy the same ecological niche. The natural habitat is represented by ponds, swamps, lakes and rivers.
curated by Sauro Giannerini