A distinctive, long-necked duck with a diagnostic white face. It differs from the larger Souht-African shelduck by lacking grey on the head. Like fulvous duck it stansd very erect and is highly gregarious, but can be distinguished from that species in flight by the lack of white on the upper tail coverts. At times the white face can be stained a muddy brown.
Juvenile has a dirty brown face.
Almost any expanse of water but spends much time ashore.
A characteristic, three-noted whistle, the last two notes being closer together.