Steamer Ducks

Tachyeres spp.

A Steamer Duck
Photo courtesy of Daniel Sörensen

There are four species of Steamer Ducks, which inhabit the coastal waters of southern South America and the Falkland Islands. Field identification of the species is very difficult. They are very large and bulky ducks related to the Shelducks.

Flying Steamer Duck, T. patachonicus - If a Steamer Duck is seen flying any distance, with changes in its flight path, it is certainly this species. Also, any found on inland freshwater are this species. Although it should be noted that some males of this species are too heavy to fly.

Magellanic Flightless Steamer Duck, T. pteneres

White-headed Flightless Steamer Duck, T. leucocephalus - This species is known only from the area of Chubut, Argentina. It should be noted, however, that during the breeding season males of all Steamer species develop white heads.

Falkland Flightless Steamer Duck, T. brachypterus - endemic to the Falklands

Steamer Duck Links:

The Flying Steamer Duck at Hartman Wildfowl

Videos -- search for the 4 species

Frontal view
Photo courtesy of Daniel Sörensen



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