The Garganey, an Old World dabbling duck, is closely related to the Northern Shoveler and the Blue-winged and Cinnamon Teals. Like these, it is found primarily in freshwater wetlands and shallow ponds, where it feeds by filtering small particles from water passed through its bill rather than by tipping up. The male in breeding plumage is unmistakable, with gray flanks and a bold, white eyebrow crossing to the back of the brown head and curving down toward the neck. Females, juveniles, and non-breeding-plumaged males are difficult to separate from Blue-winged and Cinnamon Teals but have a stronger facial pattern than these.

The Garganey breeds across Eurasia from the sub-Arctic to the temperate zone and winters in the northern tropics of Africa and Turkey. It is a regular migrant in the outer Aleutians and a rare but widespread vagrant across North America.

Birds migrate to tropical Africa during August-September, returning in February-April.Some small flocks remain in Mediterranean sites in winter. Most birds migrate via the Turkey; even those which pass via Iberia in autumn apparently return via the Balkans in spring.

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