A bird of the eastern states, primarily the Atlantic Flyway and, to a lesser extent, the Mississippi. Shy and wary, regarded as the wariest of all ducks. Often seen in company of mallards, but along the Atlantic coast frequents the salt marshes and ocean much more than mallards. Flight is swift, usually in small flocks.
White wing lining in contrast to very dark body plumage is a good identification clue. The hen's quack and the drake's kwek-kwek are duplicates of the mallards.