Anas platyrhynchos

Castilian: Ánade azulón

Catalan: Ànec collverd

Gallego: Lavanco

Euskera: Basahatea


Orden: Anseriformes

Family: Anatidae

Migratory status: Permanent resident


In the 2004 edition of the Red Book of Spanish Birds (Libro Rojo de las Aves de España) it is listed as “Not Evaluated”.

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The alteration of wetlands and the intense pressure caused by hunting.

Length / size: 50-60 cm / 81-95 cm

Identification: With generally greyish plumage, it is characterised by its unmistakable blue-green head and chestnut brown chest, separated by a thin white neck ring; its rump is black with two curled feathers and white tail feathers, a bluish-purple speculum, a yellow bill and black toenails. The female is brownish and is distinguished from the rest because of her speculum.

Song: The male makes a soft, nasal "wruab" sound, which it repeats when it is alert, and a whistle, "peeoo", during courtship; the female makes a "quack quack quack" sound, that gets quieter toward the end.

Diet: It is a very flexible species with regard to its diet: its principal food source is aquatic plants, although it also consumes insects, mollusks, worms, grains, grass, and even acorns.

Reproduction: Courtship begins in February with a beautiful mating dance that includes different postures, wing beating, spins, splashing water with its bill, and all of this is accompanied by quacking and whistling. Once the pair has been formed, it is the female that builds a simple nest, made of twigs, leaves and down, which is hidden among aquatic vegetation. Hatching is simultaneous and the chicks can swim and dive within a few hours of birth.


It is a generalist species when it comes to its type of habitat: it can be found in lakes, marshes, and park ponds, although in general it prefers shallow water areas.


In Spain: There is an important breeding population distributed throughout the peninsula and Balearic Islands, but the bird is not present in the Canary Islands, Ceuta or Melilla.

In Castile and León: Breeding populations are distributed throughout all the provinces, most notably in Palencia (La Nava lake), Zamora (Villafáfila), León, Salamanca and Burgos.

Movements and migrations: Its migratory behaviour varies from one region to the next: the northern and central European populations make long-distance movements; those from the south and west of Europe can make short movements if environmental conditions are bad. In September, and especially between December and January, wintering specimens begin arriving in our country.


In Spain: There is an estimated population of 65000-100000 breeding pairs.

In Castile and León: There is an estimated population of more than 8000 breeding pairs.