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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Magellanic Flightless Steamer Duck Tachyeres pteneres

This heavily built duck is one of three closely related species, all from South America, that have lost the ability to fly. Like other steamer ducks, it has mottled gray plumage, yellow legs, and a robust, yellow-orange bill. It feeds on mussels, crabs and other small animals, diving among kelp beds to find its food. If threatened, it paddles noisily across the water with its wings, a behavior known as “steaming.”

Magellanic Flightless Steamer Duckzoom image
  • Order Anseriformes
  • Length 24–30 in (61–76 cm)
  • Weight 8–10 lb (4.0–4.5 kg)
  • Habitat Rocky coasts, inshore waters
  • Distribution Southern South America
Magellanic Flightless Steamer Duck Habitat Mapzoom image