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Shovelers, Tachyeres  

Flightless Steamer-duck Tachyeres pteneres
Photo: ©  http://www.arthurgrosset.com

Probaly Subfamily: Merginae
Genus: Tachyeres
- steamer ducks

The steamer ducks are a genus, Tachyeres, of ducks in the family Anatidae. All of the four species occur in South America,
and all except the Flying Steamer Duck are flightless; even this one species capable of flight rarely takes to the air.
The genus name Tachyeres, "having fast oars" or "fast rower", comes from Ancient Greek "fast" + "I row (as with oars)".
The common name "steamer ducks" derives because, when swimming fast, they flap their wings into the water as well as using their feet, creating an effect like a paddle steamer.

They are usually placed in the shelduck subfamily Tadorninae, but DNA analyses indicate they rather belongs into a
distinct clade of aberrant South American dabbling ducks, which also includes the Brazilian, the Crested, and the
Bronze-winged Ducks.

Tachyeres patachonicus Patagoniaskovleand Flying Steamerduck
Tachyeres pteneres Chileskovleand Flightless Steamerduck
Tachyeres leucocephalus Hvithodeskovleand White-headed Steamerduck
Tachyeres brachypterus Falklandsskovleand Falkland Steamerduck

The most common of them in Tierra del Fuego, Flying Steamerduck
, Tachyeres patachonicus,
is probably a near relative to the non-flying
Flightless Steamerduck, Tachyeres pteneres, i Tierra del Fuego,
Falkland Steamerduck, Tachyeres brachypterus, på Falklandsøyene.

Flying Steamerduck, Tachyeres patachonicus, No:Patagoniaskovleand

Flying Steamerduck, Tachyeres patachonicus. in Chile it is called 'Quetru volador''
©  http://www.arthurgrosset.com

The Flying Steamer Duck, Tachyeres patachonicus, is a steamer duck. It is the most widespread steamer duck, resident in
southern Chile and Argentina, Tierra del Fuego and the Falkland Islands. Its plumage is very similar to the other three steamer
ducks. It is the only steamer duck which can fly, and the only one to occur on inland fresh waters.

Photo: ©  http://www.arthurgrosset.com

Flying Steamer-duck is smaller with longer, functional wings. The male has a pale to whitish head and orange bill and legs.
The female has a dark grey head and a darker bill which is greenish with a yellowish base.

Another distinguishing feature of the Flying Steamer-duck is that it usually shows a long, up-curled tail when swimming.
Tekst: : ©  http://www.arthurgrosset.com

Most previous observers agreed that steamingbirds power themselves rapidly over the surface of the water
using their feet and wings, producing substantial spray and turbulence. Steaming birds attain estimated
speeds of up to 25 kph, and they have been seen steaming without pause for 1 km or more.
Steaming is used both for escape and for attack during territorial encounters

A number of naturalists likened the wing movements of steaming birds to the rotation of side-wheels of steam-boats.
"Mechanics of Steaming in Steamer-ducks" by Livezey & Humphrey in Auk, April 1983.

Tachyeres pteneres Chileskovleand Flightless Steamerduck

Note the spurs on the wing on the bird on the photo.
The orange bumps on the wing are typical of both steamer-ducks,
they are modified spurs used in fights.
They are often dull and worn down in flightless, and much more pointed and slimmer in flying.

Photo: © www.arthurgrosset.com

Photo: © www.arthurgrosset.com

Patagoniaskovleandk, Ushuaia,
Tierra del Fuego.

White-headed Steamerduck, Tachyeres leucocephalus, No: Hvithodeskovleand

Unknown photographer

The Chubut Steamer Duck or White-headed Flightless Steamer Duck, Tachyeres leucocephalus, is a flightless duck
endemic to Argentina.

It is the most recently recognized species of steamer duck, being described only in 1981. This is because it is only found
along a rather small and sparsely populated stretch of coast around the Golfo San Jorge in southern Chubut and northern
Santa Cruz Provinces, and because steamer ducks in general look fairly similar in plumage.

Tachyeres leucocephalus was previously considered to be restricted to the south coast of Chubut province, Argentina.
It is now known to have a larger range, with occasional signtings along the coastline from the Valdes Peninsula to the
Beagle Channel in Tierra del Fuego. The population may not exceed 5,000 birds, and a recent census on the coast of
Chubut province recorded a maximum of 4,000 individuals, with key populations at Bahía San Gregorio, Bahía Melo
and Caleta Malaspina, all located at northern San Jorge Gulf.

The population is thought to be stable. It appears to occur at very low densities throughout its range.

It is entirely coastal in rocky areas and sheltered bays, breeding on offshore islands and peninsulas.
IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4.
<www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 02 November 2010

Falkland Steamerduck, Tachyeres brachypterus, No:Falklandsskovleand

Weibliche Falkland-Dampfschiffente

Gypsy Cove, Falkland Islands

The Falkland Steamer Duck, Tachyeres brachypterus, is a steamer duck native to the Falkland Islands in the southern
Atlantic Ocean. It is one of only two bird species to be endemic to the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas in Spanish),
the other being Cobb's Wren.

Female Falkland Flightless Steamer Duck, Tachyeres brachypterus at Port Stanley.
Photo Pismire

The Falkland Steamer Duck's wings are very short (hence the scientific name: brachy = "short", and pteron = "wing"),
and it is incapable of flight.

The plumage of the Falkland Steamer Duck is mostly dark grey, but with a white stripe behind the eye.
It is very difficult to distinguish from the Flying Steamer Duck in the field since they occupy the same habitat and,
although the Flying Steamer Duck can fly, it rarely does.

The Flightless Steamer Duck is by far the most numerous of the Falklands marine ducks, breeding along all types of
coast except steep cliffs. Each pair holds a territory comprising of a set length of coastline which it guards vigorously.
Nests are built behind the shoreline with 5 - 10 eggs being laid during September to December.
Young fledge in January to March.

Food is mostly shellfish and other marine invertebrates which it collects by dabbling or diving.


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