Common Name

Scientific Name

View Utah Distribution Map

Photo by Glen Smart
Photo Courtesy of U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The gadwall, Anas strepera, is a dabbling duck that breeds in North America and Eurasia. North American populations breed in Canada and much of the United States. Populations in the northern portion of the species' breeding range migrate south for winter; main North American wintering areas include southern Canada, the United States, and Mexico. The gadwall is a common duck in Utah, where it occurs statewide in appropriate habitat. Some gadwalls are year-round residents of Utah, some breed in Utah and winter in Mexico and California, and some breed in northern North America and winter in Utah.

Similar to other species of waterfowl, gadwalls prefer ponds, lakes, and marshes. Nests are constructed on dry areas near water, often near the base of a shrub, or within thick vegetation. Nine to eleven eggs are laid in the spring and then incubated by the female alone for about one month. The female tends the young, which can fly at about two months of age. Gadwalls eat primarily aquatic plants and aquatic invertebrates, although grains and fishes are also occasionally consumed. North American gadwall populations are currently doing extremely well, having grown a great deal during the past decade.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Peterson, R. T., and V. M. Peterson. 1990. A field guide to western birds, 3rd ed. Houghton Mifflin, Boston. 432 pp.