British Waterfowl Association

Falkland Steamerduck

4 Falkland Steamer ducklings at Stanley, FI
Young Falkland Steamerducks - Morag Jones

Tachyeres brachypterus

The Falkland Island Steamerduck is known locally as the ‘Logger Duck’. In global terms, it is pretty rare, with around 16,000 pairs living exclusively on the Falkland Islands. This is the smallest of the 3 flightless steamers but nevertheless a powerful bird. The pairs appear to bond for life and will vigorously defend their territory along the shore, to a couple of hundred metres inland.

Falkland Steamerduck
Falkland Steamerduck showing carpal spurs - Frank Todd

Steamerducks feed on a variety of small marine animals living on the seabed. They will upend to feed in very shallow water, but mainly they dive to secure their prey. Mussels are a firm favourite and they have no trouble if they take in salt water. Like other sea ducks, they have a large gland above and between the eyes which filters excess salt from the blood. The resulting concentrated salt is expelled through the nostrils.

Pair of Falkland Steamerducks on a beach
Falkland Steamerduck - Roger Spink

Clutches of 4-11 eggs are incubated for 28-30 days.