Family: (Anatidae) Ducks, Geese and Swans
Preferred Habitat: Large shallow ponds and lakes.
Seasonal Occurrence: Abundant November through April. On the coast, uncommon in winter and occasional in fall.
Notes: The Gadwall is one of the dabbling or puddle ducks whose members frequent shallow waters and often feed by tilting themselves tail up. Among the dabblers, Gadwalls are more likely to be seen diving for food. The Gadwall's cryptic coloring can make it difficult to spot, but seen close-up, the plumage is an elegant, intricate pattern of gray, brown and black. The female may be distinguished from the male by her predominantly brown plumage and orange bill. Gadwalls prefer bodies of water with large amounts of vegetation. Their numbers have been on the increase in recent years.
- Susan Billetdeaux