The male breeding plumage is very distinctive. Most of the body plumage is finely vermiculated grey, with the long sickle-shaped tertials, which give this species its name, hanging off its back. The large head is dark green with a white throat, and a dark green collar and bronzed crown.
Spotted at the Woodland Park Zoo. The falcated duck is primarily native to Asia. In its native habitat it prefers lowland wetlands, such as water meadows or lakes, and usually feeds by dabbling for plant food or grazing.
The falcated duck is currently in a state of "near threatened" on the IUCN's Red List. They are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and their overall population seems to be (for the most part) stable and growing. The range is from eastern Siberia and Mongolia to northern Japan with wintering grounds in southeast Asia to eastern India. There have also been sightings of falcated teals in America, Poland and Thailand. However, these sightings have been attributed to vagrant ducks and ducks that have escaped from captivity, and while the falcated duck has the capacity to immigrate from the far east to the west, it is rare to find the bird outside of Asia and Eurasia. Falcated duck populations are present in a number of wildlife preservers, national parks, zoos, and other protected areas such as the Colusa National Wildlife Refuge in Sacramento, California.