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Banding Together for Waterfowl

Waterfowl Classification

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Identifying waterfowl gives many hours of enjoyment to millions of people.  Recognizing the species and classification of ducks and geese can be rewarding to birdwatchers and hunters – and the ducks.

Puddle Ducks

 
Puddle ducks (also known as dabbling ducks) are typically birds of fresh, shallow marshes and rivers rather than of large lakes and bays.  They are good divers, but usually feed by dabbling or tipping rather than submerging.  Species of puddle ducks include:

  • Shoveler
  • Blue-Winged Teal
  • Green-Winged Teal
  • Cinnamon Teal
  • Wood Duck
  • Black Duck

  • Diving Ducks

    Diving ducks (divers) frequent the larger, deeper lakes and rivers, and coastal bays and inlets.  They feed by diving, often to considerable depths.  To escape danger, they can travel great distances underwater, emerging only enough to show their head before submerging again. Species of diver ducks include:
       
  • Red-Breasted Merganser
  • Common Merganser
  • Hooded Merganser
  • White-Winged Scoter
  • Surf Scoter
  • Black Scoter
  • Common Eider
  • Oldsquaw
  • Harlequin

  • Geese

    Geese are typically classified in three genera, Anser, Chen, and Branta that embrace 14 species around the world, six of which are in North America. Branta are marked by black heads and necks, such as Canada geese. Anser include the White-fronted goose and Chen include the snow, Ross's and Emperor goose. Geese have shorter necks than swans but longer than ducks. They graze extensively on uplands rather than feeding on aquatic plants. Species of geese include:

     



    Whistling (Tree) Ducks

     



    Swans

     

     

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