DUCKS, GEESE, AND SWANS   -   ANATIDAE   -   PART I

Whistling-ducks (Dendrocygna) to Spectacled Duck (Speculanas)

White-faced Whistling-Duck - Dendrocygna viduata
White-faced Whistling-Duck
Dendrocygna viduata
Reserva Ecologica de Guapi Assu, Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil.
A monotypic species even though it also occurs in Africa, Madagascar, and the Comoros. (S6)


Black-bellied Whistling-Duck - Dendrocygna autumnalis
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck
Dendrocygna autumnalis
Transpantanal Highway, Mato Grosso state, Brazil.
Adult on the left, two juveniles on the right. (S8)


Black-bellied Whistling-Duck - Dendrocygna autumnalis
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck
Dendrocygna autumnalis
Reserva Ecologica de Guapi Assu, Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil.
(S10)


Black-bellied Whistling-Duck - Dendrocygna autumnalis
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck
Dendrocygna autumnalis
Pousada Piuval, Pantanal, Mato Grosso state, Brazil.
(S7)


Black-necked Swan - Cygnus melancoryphus
Black-necked Swan
Cygnus melancoryphus
Chiloe Island, Region X, Chile.
The only Cygnus in South America, found only in southern temperate regions. (S5)


Coscoroba Swan - Coscoroba coscoroba
Coscoroba Swan
Coscoroba coscoroba
Northern Tierra del Fuego, Region XII, Chile.
This "swan" is in a monotypic genus and may be more closely related to the whistling-ducks that to typical swans. It is found in similar areas as Black-necked Swan, and are sometimes together on the same lake. (S5)


Coscoroba Swan - Coscoroba coscoroba
Coscoroba Swan
Coscoroba coscoroba
Northern Tierra del Fuego, Region XII, Chile.
A different individual. The black wingtips are usually only visible in flight. (S5)


Orinoco Goose - Oressochen jubatus
Orinoco Goose
Oressochen jubatus
Madre de Dios river near Manu Wildlife Center, Madre de Dios region, Peru.
A distinctive species that is found very patchily in tropical lowland areas east of the Andes. It's a monotypic genus, perhaps most closely related to the sheldgeese (above) or shelducks. (S8)


Andean Goose - Oressochen melanopterus
Andean Goose
Oressochen melanopterus
Runatullo, Junín region, Peru.
Formerly placed with the sheldgeese (Chloephaga, below). Found around high elevation lakes and bogs as far north as central Peru, where this photo was taken. The white speckling on their backs is actually snow. (S8)


Upland Goose - Chloephaga picta
Upland Goose
Chloephaga picta picta
Tierra del Fuego National Park, Argentina.
Male. The first of the four species of "sheldgeese", the name frequently given to the members of this genus. They are more closely related to the shelducks than to other geese. This species is found only in Patagonia and the Falklands; it is quite common, and abundant in some areas. (S8)


Upland Goose - Chloephaga picta
Upland Goose
Chloephaga picta picta
Tierra del Fuego National Park, Argentina.
Female. (S8)


Upland Goose - Chloephaga picta
Upland Goose
Chloephaga picta picta
Northern Tierra del Fuego, Region XII, Chile.
Female on the left, adult male in the center, and juv. male on the right. (D3)


Kelp Goose - Chloephaga hybrida
Kelp Goose
Chloephaga hybrida hybrida
Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina.
Males (next to a Kelp Gull). The female is strikingly different (a few photos down). Unlike the other sheldgeese, the Kelp Goose is found only on the coast; it does eat kelp. (S8)


Kelp Goose - Chloephaga hybrida
Kelp Goose
Chloephaga hybrida hybrida
South of Punta Arenas, Region XII, Chile.
Male. This is a subadult bird that still shows black in the wings. (S5)


Kelp Goose - Chloephaga hybrida
Kelp Goose
Chloephaga hybrida hybrida
Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina.
Female. (S8)


Kelp Goose - Chloephaga hybrida
Kelp Goose
Chloephaga hybrida malvinarum
West Point Island, Falkland Islands.
Female on the right, male on the left. The race found on the Falklands is slightly larger. (S8)


Ashy-headed Goose - Chloephaga poliocephala
Ashy-headed Goose
Chloephaga poliocephala
Northern Tierra del Fuego, Region XII, Chile.
This striking bird is more common in wet areas near forest, though this pair was on Tierra del Fuego, far from any trees. (D3)


Ruddy-headed Goose - Chloephaga rubidiceps
Ruddy-headed Goose
Chloephaga rubidiceps
Northern Tierra del Fuego, Region XII, Chile.
The rarest of the sheldgeese on mainland South America, though still quite abundant on the Falklands. Red legs, rounder head, and narrower flank barring are some features that help distinguish it from the similar female Upland Goose. (D3)


Comb Duck - Sarkidiornis melanotos
Comb Duck
Sarkidiornis melanotos sylvicola
About 15 km south of Iguatu, Ceará state, Brazil.
Male. Rare and local in South America. It also occurs widely in the old world tropics. (D3)


Brazilian Teal - Amazonetta brasiliensis
Brazilian Teal
Amazonetta brasiliensis ipecutiri
Reserva Ecologica de Guapi Assu, Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil.
A pair. The male is on the left with a pink bill and white face & neck patch. The female is on the right with the white spots on the face. (D3)


Torrent Duck - Merganetta armata
Torrent Duck
Merganetta armata berlepschi
Rio Los Sosa, Tucumán province, Argentina.
There were two males and two females here doing what I believe was an agressive encounter between pairs holding neighboring territories. Sometimes they swam together, sometimes they would split off as pairs, but more strangely, sometimes the two males sat next to each other on one rock, watching the two females who were also together on another nearby rock. It was a fascinating performance. There are more photos of this group below. I recently witnessed the same display in southern Ecuador, and this time got some nice video, which I posted on Youtube. (S5)


Torrent Duck - Merganetta armata
Torrent Duck
Merganetta armata berlepschi
Rio Los Sosa, Tucumán province, Argentina.
Here are the two males together. (S5)


Torrent Duck - Merganetta armata
Torrent Duck
Merganetta armata berlepschi
Rio Los Sosa, Tucumán province, Argentina.
Here are the two females with one of the males. (S5)


Torrent Duck - Merganetta armata
Torrent Duck
Merganetta armata colombiana
Cordillera de Lagunillas, Zamora-Chinchipe province, Ecuador.
A different pair from the ones in the photos above. This was one of two pairs that were displaying to each other, see my video on Youtube. (S6)


Flying Steamer-Duck - Tachyeres patachonicus
Flying Steamer-Duck
Tachyeres patachonicus
Dique Florentino Ameghino, Chubut province, Argentina.
Male; probably a subadult since bill isn't very orange and the head is not very gray. This is the only one of the four species of steamer-duck that is capable of flight; it is found in both inland and coastal waters of Chile, Argentina, and the Falklands. The name "steamer-duck" apparently comes from the behavior of sometimes flapping their wings while swimming, causing a lot of splashing, like that of an old steam powered riverboat. (D7)


Flying Steamer-Duck - Tachyeres patachonicus
Flying Steamer-Duck
Tachyeres patachonicus
Dique Florentino Ameghino, Chubut province, Argentina.
The male is on the left, the female on the right. It's more sexually dimorphic than Flightless Steamer-Duck (below). The female has a duller bill and a slightly darker head. The male shown here is probably a subadult since bill isn't very orange and the head is not very gray. (S6)


Flightless Steamer-Duck - Tachyeres pteneres
Flightless Steamer-Duck
Tachyeres pteneres
Tierra del Fuego National Park, Argentina.
Drinking where a freshwater stream emptied into the bay. This species is restricted to coastal areas of far southern South America. Unlike Flying Steamer-Duck, it is restricted to salt water. (S8)


Flightless Steamer-Duck - Tachyeres pteneres
Flightless Steamer-Duck
Tachyeres pteneres
South of Punta Arenas, Region XII, Chile.
Pair; note the lack of strong sexual dimorphism. The reduced flight feathers can be seen on these birds. (S5)


Falkland Steamer-Duck - Tachyeres brachypterus
Falkland Steamer-Duck
Tachyeres brachypterus
Carcass Island, Falkland Islands (Malvinas).
Male. Endemic to the Falklands. There are apparently both flying and flightless populations of this species (see Fulton, T.L., Letts, B. & Shapiro, B. (2012) Multiple losses of flight and recent speciation in steamer ducks. Proc. Royal Soc. London (Ser. B Biol. Sci.) 279: 2339–2346), and their research indicated that Flying Steamer-Duck T. patachonicus does not even occur on the archipelago. (S8)


Falkland Steamer-Duck - Tachyeres brachypterus
Falkland Steamer-Duck
Tachyeres brachypterus
Carcass Island, Falkland Islands (Malvinas).
Female. (S8)


Falkland Steamer-Duck - Tachyeres brachypterus
Falkland Steamer-Duck
Tachyeres brachypterus
Carcass Island, Falkland Islands (Malvinas).
Juveniles. (S8)


White-headed Steamer-Duck - Tachyeres leucocephalus
White-headed Steamer-Duck
Tachyeres leucocephalus
Playa Isla Escondida, Chubut province, Argentina.
The male is the closer one with the whiter head; the female is behind him. This species is endemic to the coast of southern Argentina. It is sometimes called Chubut Steamer-Duck. It was only described in 2001, having previously been considered a form of Flightless Steamer-Duck T. pteneres. (S6)


White-headed Steamer-Duck - Tachyeres leucocephalus
White-headed Steamer-Duck
Tachyeres leucocephalus
Playa Isla Escondida, Chubut province, Argentina.
The male is on the right, the female on the left. (S6)


Crested Duck - Lophonetta specularioides
Crested Duck
Lophonetta specularioides specularioides
Lago Fagnano, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina.
This bird is of the nominate race, found throughout much of Patagonia, and in the Falklands. (S8)


Crested Duck - Lophonetta specularioides
Crested Duck
Lophonetta specularioides alticola
Lauca National Park, Region I, Chile.
This is the subspecies found mainly on high Andean lakes. It averages larger, and has yellowish instead of reddish eyes. (S5)


Spectacled Duck - Speculanas specularis
Spectacled Duck
Speculanas specularis
North of Punta Arenas, Region XII, Chile.
One of South America's rarer ducks, encountered much less often than most other Patagonian species. The sexes usually differ in the size of the white face patch, but there is no obvious difference in this pair. (S5)



Next page
Previous page
Back to gallery index











Website design and all photos copyright Nick Athanas
For questions, comments, or photograph licensing info, please email