Patagonian Crested Duck
Environmental Research Unit, PO Box 434, Stanley, Falkland Islands
Patagonian Crested DuckLophonetta specularioides specularioides
Local Name: Grey Duck
Breeding Range: Falkland Islands, Chile and Argentina
Falklands Population: ~10,000 breeding pairs
World Population: unknown
The Patagonian Crested Duck is found in shallow coastal regions throughout the Falklands, where it dabbles and forages for invertebrates and marine algae. Its preferred breeding habitat is tall grass or shrubbery behind the tidal zone, but nests are also found further inland, especially near to ponds. Nests are constructed from vegetation and lined with breast feathers. Clutches of 5 to 7 eggs are laid from August through until April, with two broods being common. Eggs hatch about a month after laying, and chicks are led from the nest to feed themselves shortly afterwards. Fledging occurs at around 10 weeks of age. Sexes are similar in appearance. Although less numerous than other Falkland marine ducks, they are not considered threatened and have an extensive breeding range in South America.