|42–59 cm long, with a 76–91 cm wingspan.
Dabbling for plant food on water, and also commonly feed on dry land,
eating waste grain in harvested fields and grazing on pasture grasses,
winter wheat, clover, and lettuce.
The breeding male is a striking bird with a mask of green
feathers around its eyes and a cream colored cap running from the crown
of its head to its bill. Their belly is also white. In flight,
drakes can be identified by the large white shoulder patch on each
wing. These white patches flash as the birds bank and turn. The hens
are much less conspicuous, having primarily gray and
brown plumage. Both sexes have a pale blue bill with a black tip,
a white belly, and gray legs and feet. In non-breeding (eclipse)
plumage, the drake looks more like the female.
The majority of the population breeds on wetlands in the Boreal Forest and subarctic river deltas of Canada and Alaska.
6 - 12 Creamy white eggs.