Anas penelope   Linnaeus,  1758 (Bird)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Aves

Image copyrights: Pbase

Size: length c. 49 cm

Color: General aspect of drake grey. The chestnut head with cream coloured patch on forecrown, brownish pink breast, black tail-coverts, large horizontal white patch on closed wing, and small narrow blue-grey bill, are diagnostic points. In flight a broad white shoulder-patch near leading edge of wing, and the whitish 'bald' forecrown, are con-spicuous. Duck like female gadwall but with speculum of different pattern (not contrasty black-and-white), and small blue bill like drake's.

Habits: Frequents shallow grassy jheels and marshes. A mixed surface feeder, largely vegetarian. Besides upending in shallow water for food, is oftern seen walking about on marshes grazing on grass shoots and aquatic weeds in the manner of geese. A swift and powerful flier, with a peculiar rustling sound of wings. Like other coveted sporting ducks, e.g. mallard, pintail and gadwall, is usually amongst the first species to climb high and get well out of gunshot soon after firing has commenced on a jheel. A shrill pipe or whistle is uttered in flight as well as on the ground and when swimming.

Breeding: Extralimital. Nest, of matted grass, reeds, etc. with a thick bed of down for the eggs, hidden in undergrowth usually close to water. Eggs- 7 to 12, buffy cream

Synonym (s)

Common Name (s)
• Peasan (Hindi)
• Patari (Hindi)
• Pharia (Hindi)
• Chhota lal-sir (Hindi)
• Eurasian Wigeon (English)
• Wigeon (English)
• Namam batu (Telugu)
• Mahudi thara (Tamil)
• Tarang (Marathi)
• Pharao (Gujarati)
• Piyasana, Piyasau (Gujarati)
Economic Importance and Threats
Threats:  Anthropogenic
(This species is susceptible to disturbance from recreational activities (e.g. tourists walking), pollution (including thallium contamination, petroleum pollution), wetland drainage, changing wetland management practices.)
Threats:  Natural threats
(Avian influenza virus (strain H5N1) is also a potential threat, as is poisoning from the ingestion of lead shot pellets )
Importance:  Commercial
(This species is hunted for sport. The eggs of this species used to be (and possibly still are) harvested in Iceland.)

Habitat:  Estuarine
Trophic Level:  Consumer
Prey:  Chiefly vegetarian also water insect and their larvae and molluscs, etc.
IUCN Status:  Least Concern


• Orissa, Chilika Lake (Lat: 19.77) (Long: 85.33) INDIA
• Orissa, Bhitarkanika INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh, Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary INDIA
• Delhi, Okhla barrage bird sanctuary INDIA
• Orissa, Kalijai Island INDIA (Record: 25/06/1986)
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Abbaasi, SA (1997) Wetlands of India-Ecology and Threats Discovery Publishing House,New Delhi II 1-182 Available at - NIO, RC Kochi
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at -
  • Ali, S (1977) The book of Indian birds Bombay Natural History Society 175 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • PBase Available at -
  • Chattopadhyay, S (1995) Aves Wetland ecosystem series 1: Fauna of Chilika lake ZSI, Calcutta 561-599 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Marine Biological Station, Chennai, Tamil Nadu (2003) Checklist of marine fauna of Tamil Nadu Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Available at -
  • Srinivasulu, C (2004) Birds of kawal wildlife sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh , India Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 101(1) 3-25 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Vernacular names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent Buceros, Envis newsletter: Avian Ecology & Inland Wetlands 62pp Available at -
  • Manakadan R and Pittie A (2001) Standardized English names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent BUCEROS Envis Newsletter: Avian ecology and inland wetland 6(1) 26pp Available at -
  • Kumar A, sati JP and Tak CK (2003) Checklist of Indian Waterbids Buceros Envis Newsletter: Avian ecology and inland wetlands 8(1) 30pp Available at -
  • Ali S and Ripley SD (1968) Handbook of the birds of India and Pakistan Oxford university press 1 1-368pp Available at - NIO
  • Urfi AJ (2003) The birds of Okhla barrage bird sanctuary, Delhi, India Forktail 19 39-50pp Available at -
  • Rao VV, Anjaneyulu M, Nagulu V, Srinivasulu C and Satyanarayana D (2004) Water fowl Status at Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh EPTRI - ENVIS Newsletter 10(4) 7-12pp Available at -,%20No.4,%202004.pdf
  • Gopi GV and Pandav B (2007) Avifauna of Bhitarkanika Mangroves, India Zoo's print journal 22(10) 2839-2847pp Available at -

Page last updated on:2012-08-22

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