Indian Spot-billed Duck

Anas poecilorhyncha  in हिंदी
Scientific Name:  Anas poecilorhyncha

Name:  Indian Spot-billed Duck

    Local Names:
  • Assamese     বৰমূগী হাঁহ
  • Bengali     দেশি মেটেহাঁস
  • Gujarati     ટીલાવળી બતક, ટીલીયાળી બતક
  • Hindi     गुगरल, गर्मपाय
  • Malayalam     പുള്ളിച്ചുണ്ടൻ താറാവ്
  • Marathi     प्लवा बदक, हळदी कुंकू, धनवर बाड्डा
  • Nepali     नादुन हाँस
  • Sanskrit     घर्घर हंसक
  • Tamil     புள்ளி மூக்கு வாத்து
Contribute Photo

Blackish-brown plumage, feathers edged paler; almost white head and neck; black cap; dark, broad eye-stripe; green speculum bordered above with white; black bill tipped yellow; coral-red legs and feet. Pairs or small parties walk on marshy land and wet cultivation, or up-end in shallow water; usually does not associate with other ducks; when injured, can dive and remain underwater, holding on to submerged vegetation with only bill exposed.

Size in cm:

58-63 cm

Size in Inch

23-25 Inch

Primary color:


Secondary color:

black   (Bird may have more colors)


wild grain, seeds, shoots of aquatic plants; occasionally water insects, worms, water-snails; causes damage to paddy.

Habit and habited:

reed- and vegetation-covered jheels, shallow ponds.


loud, duck-like quack.

Bird Type:

Duck-like Birds


The Indian spot-billed duck (Anas poecilorhyncha) is a large dabbling duck that is a non-migratory breeding duck throughout freshwater wetlands in the Indian subcontinent. The name is derived from the red spot at the base of the bill that is found in the mainland Indian population. When in water it can be recognized from a long distance by the white tertials that form a stripe on the side, and in flight it is distinguished by the green speculum with a broad white band at the base. The eastern spot-billed duck (A. zonorhyncha) was formerly treated as a subspecies.

This duck is around the same size as a mallard and has a scaly patterned body with a green speculum bordered by white. At rest the white stripe stands out and the long neck and the bill with yellow tip and orange red spots at the base are distinctive in the nominate subspecies. The red spots at the base of the bills are absent in haringtoni. It measures 55–63 cm (22–25 in) in length and 83–95 cm (33–37 in) across the wings, with a body mass of 790–1,500 g (1.74–3.31 lb). These are mainly grey ducks with a paler head and neck and a black bill tipped bright yellow. The wings are whitish with black flight feathers below, and from above show a white-bordered green The male has a red spot on the base of the bill, which is absent or inconspicuous in the smaller but otherwise similar female. The male does not have an eclipse plumage. The legs and feet are bright orange to coral red. Juveniles are browner and duller than adults.

The eastern spot-billed duck is darker and browner; its body plumage is more similar to the Pacific black duck. It lacks the red bill spot, and has a blue speculum.

Both males and females undergo a complete post-breeding moult, dropping all their wing feathers simultaneously.

Distribution Map

  •     Resident (inc. local and altitudinal migrants)
  •     Former range (no recent records but may still survive)
  •     Summer visitor (including summer monsoon)
  •     Winter visitor
  •     Passage (autumn and/or spring) visitor
  •     known to be occasional, scarce or erratic
  •     Small isolated population (actual range smaller)  
  •     Isolated record(s) - one or more in the same area  
  •  colour coded for seasonality as per coloured ranges, black denotes unspecified season

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