Crested Duck Lophonetta specularioides

  • Order: Anseriformes
  • Family: Anatidae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors: Mariana Bulgarella


  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Crested Duck
eBird range map for Crested Duck

Generated from eBird observations (Year-Round, 1900-present)

Distribution in the Americas

Crested Ducks are endemic to South America; they comprise two subspecies that occupy different elevational environments in the Andes.

Lophonetta s. alticola occurs throughout the Andean highlands from northern Peru and Bolivia to central Argentina and Chile (2500-4800 masl). L. s. specularioides is found at low elevations (below 1500 masl) in the southern Andean regions of Patagonia (Argentina and Chile) and on the Falkland Islands.

The two subspecies intergrade in a zone of intermediate elevational habitats in Mendoza, Argentina, and Talca, Chile (Navas and Bo 1998, Bulgarella et al. 2007).

Distribution outside the Americas

Endemic to the Americas.


Crested Duck inhabits lakes, marshes and grassy areas, from shallow coastal bays and open marshes to high altitude lakes and lagoons, tarns, and bogs with small ponds, but it prefers larger lakes with barren shores. In the Altiplano, they gather in turbid, alkaline lakes with large concentrations of zooplankton (Fjeldså and Krabbe 1990). On the coast, they flock and feed in sheltered bays and on sea beaches, they also forage among the rocks and kelp beds (Johnsgard 1978). In the Falklands (Malvinas) Islands they are more often encountered on salt water, but also are found on ponds and creeks near the sea (Woods 1975).

Historical changes

None documented.

Fossil history

None reported.

Recommended Citation

Bulgarella, M. (2014). Crested Duck (Lophonetta specularioides), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.