Falcated Duck

Falcated duck (mareca falcata)

Male Falcated Ducks are instantly recognizable because of their glossy, red-brown, and green heads. Their throats are white with a distinct black “necklace” around them. Their bodies are mostly gray, with distinct black and white patterns. 

On their breasts, they have scaled patterns. On their flanks and bellies, they have finer, scalloped patterns. They also have sickle-shaped feathers (hence their name, “Falcated”) that extend over their black rumps.

Females are mostly brown with scaled patterns all over. They have light brown heads with no sheen and no visible pattern.  Their bellies are lighter in color than their heads. Juveniles resemble females but are paler brown. 

  • Mareca falcata
  • Length: 19 – 21.5 in (48 – 55 cm)
  • Weight: 25.6 oz (726 g)
  • Wingspan: 31 – 36 in (79 – 91 cm)


Falcated Ducks are usually found in Eurasia, but they also wander into North America.

Habitat And Diet

You can find Falcated Ducks among marshes and wetlands, water meadows, and lakes. Their species is considered “near threatened” on the IUCN’s Animal Red List due to hunting and habitat loss. 

Falcated Ducks are versatile ducks when it comes to food. They will graze on land, foraging for grasses and other plants. They will dabble, tip, upend or dive to forage for food in the water. They usually eat aquatic plants, snails, insects, small fish, and even frogs.

Falcated Duck Calls:

Male Falcated Duck

Female Falcated Duck


Nests of Falcated Ducks are found on the ground near water. Females build their nests out of grasses and plant material and are lined with down. Most of the time, they’re concealed in thick grasses, swamped shrubs, or in deadwood. The female lays six to ten eggs that take about twenty-six days to hatch. 

Fun Fact:

The Falcated Duck was once called the Falcated Teal.