The female Gadwall is thought to be a plain appearing bird, but the male is thought to be quite stunning.
The Gadwall is built and similar the Mallard but with a steep forehead and a narrow, shallow-based bill. Both the male and female show a mixture of chestnut and black on the upper wing and a white square on the inner secondaries. The male has a more colorful wing pattern than the female.
The call of the Gadwall female gives a low, harsh aack. The male utters a soft, burping meep.
This duck is common and widespread across the Northern Hemisphere. They breed in nests on ponds, lakes, and marshes, mostly in the Dakotas and Canadian Provinces.