Gadwall (Grey Duck)

Gadwall are a staple among coastal waterfowlers during “big duck” season. While appearing drab at a distance, the drake is striking up close. Males are gray-brown with a white belly and a black rump. In flight, a white speculum and chestnut and black portions on the wing coverts are displayed. Females are similar to males, but have a mottled brown appearance, a yellowish bill with dark spots and a smaller white speculum. Many sportsmen characterize gadwall as neurotic. One day they’ll dive into a decoy spread from the clouds; the next, they’ll avoid it like the plague.

  • Habitat: They typically spurn flooded ag fields, and prefer to feed on a wide variety of aquatic vegetation. Because of this diet, gadwalls are one of the few duck species you are just as likely to encounter in a cypress hole as in the open marsh.
  • Interesting Fact: According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Texas and Louisiana hunters combined to harvest 997,530 gadwall during the 2012 season.