A small, well-proportioned, tree-nesting duck. Pale brown overall with a darker brown crown and nape, warmer chestnut underparts, and chestnut-fringed feathers on the back. Note the faint orange-yellow eyering and the dark gray bill and legs. Sexes similar; juveniles duller. A gregarious duck found in shallow water bodies with abundant vegetation. Flies with rapid wingbeats on broad dark wings; note flashing chestnut shoulders and chestnut rump. Call is a wheezy whistling “seasick-seasick."