Flightless Steamer Duck
Environmental Research Unit, PO Box 434, Stanley, Falkland Islands
Flightless Steamer DuckTachyeres brachypterus (Flying: Tachyeres patachonicus)
Local Name: Logger Duck
Breeding Range: Falklands (Flying: also in South America)
Falklands Population: ~30,000 breeding pairs (Flying: 400 pairs)
World Population: as per Falklands (Flying: unknown)
The Flightless Steamer Duck is by far the most numerous of the Falklands marine ducks, breeding along all types of coast except steep cliffs. Each pair holds a territory comprising of a set length of coastline which it guards vigorously. Nests are built behind the shoreline with 5 - 10 eggs being laid during September to December. Young fledge in January to March. Food is mostly shellfish and other marine invertebrates which it collects by dabbling or diving. The name derives from it rapid movement across the water using its wings in a circular paddling motion. The flightless steamer duck cannot fly. The almost identical flying steamer duck can fly, but generally prefers not to. Both birds occupy similar habitats and are very difficult to distinguish.