Medium-sized duck (about 56 cm or 22 in), slightly smaller than the Mallard. Uniform, dull plumage in general. Males with grey tones and black anal area. Black bill and brownish head. Females with brown tones. Both sexes with white speculum.
Wetlands of shallow and fresh water, with vegetation and emerged islets. In winter it is less demanding.
Species resident all year round in the province. Malaga also hosts wintering individuals of this species. In the autumn the mating begins. Nest on dry land. Laying of 6 to 15 eggs. Dabbling duck (does not dive completely, only half its body) with herbivorous feeding. It consumes roots and aquatic plants. Lonely habits or in small groups with other species.
It is easy to watch at the mouth of the Guadalhorce or Vélez rivers and in the Fuente de Piedra and Campillos lagoons. Occasionally present in the reservoir of Cancelada (Estepona).
Males, after breeding, change their plumage and adopt more discreet tones, similar to those of females. This type of plumage is called “eclipse plumage”. This more basic plumage is intended to make them less visible and striking because during the moulting (renewal of feathers) ducks are more vulnerable and temporarily cannot fly.