A medium-sized duck, mainly orange-brown in colour with scaly pattern on back, large head, thin neck and long legs. Sexes alike. In flight, the large rounded wings look black below and distinct maroon patches are visible on the forewings and rump. Nests in treeholes, abandoned bird nests and reedbeds. A gregarious bird, frequently seen perching on open tree branches.
Vegetation and reed covered jheels, village ponds.
Range Resident, but moves locally; all India south of Himalaya.
Shrill, musical whistle frequently in night.