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Small dabbling duck (Anas strepera) that is a popular game bird, found throughout the upper Northern Hemisphere. Its largest breeding populations in North America are in the Dakotas and in Canada's prairie provinces. The gadwall is brownish gray with white patches, visible only during flight, on the rear of the wings. Its preferred diet is stems and leaves of aquatic plants, supplemented by seeds and algae. Gadwalls often live in shallow freshwater ponds and marshes, often in mixed flocks with wigeons. Unlike wigeons, they rarely feed on land.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on gadwall, visit Britannica.com.