Medium sized duck (about 50 cm or 19.5 in), smaller than the Mallard. Males with a very distinctive plumage. Brown head with yellowish forehead, bi-coloured bill (black tip and bluish-grey remnant), pink breast, grey body, black anal area and white underparts. Brownish females with bi-coloured bill, too. Green speculum.
Wetlands in open spaces, avoiding trees, with shallow and fresh water. With not very abundant emerged vegetation. Less demanding in winter.
Species wintering in the province. It performs courtship and mate in the wintering areas, breeding from May. Nest on banks. Herbivorous feeding (roots, bulbs, rhizomes, leaves) of aquatic plants. Dabbling duck (it only submerges half body, tilting in the water).
It can be watched in the mouth of the Guadalhorce and Vélez rivers and in the Fuente de Piedra and Campillos lagoons.
The Spanish name of this duck (“ánade silbón”) comes from the characteristic whistle that males emit, which helps to locate them before seeing them, and that consists of an initial acute tone that is quickly stopped.