British Waterfowl Association

Chinese Spot-billed Duck

Chinese Spot-billed Ducks
Chinese Spot-billed Ducks - Shelan Sekora

Anas zonorhyncha

Spot-billed Ducks are very like Mallard in behaviour, with similar feeding and foraging preferences. They focus on vegetation and dabble in the same way. Even their voice isĀ  a classic duck quack.

Various types of inland and coastal (both tidal and brackish) wetlands are home to these ducks. They are found from Russia, Mongolia, Sakhalin, Korea and Japan to eastern China. In winter they move to southern China and may reach Thailand and Cambodia.

The most obvious difference between Chinese and Indian Spotbills is that the the Chinese have a second, incomplete, line on their face from bill base towards the ear coverts. There is no red patch at the base of the bill in the Chinese.

Spotbills lay 6-12 buffy-coloured eggs, which are incubated for 26 to 28 days. Wild nesting females, young and eggs may be predated by water and marsh-dwelling snakes. In aviculture, they breed readily and care should be taken enclosing them with other ducks. They readily hybridise with several closely and not-so-closely related species, and these offspring are frequently fertile.