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Ducks, Geese, Swans

Most of the birds in this section are members of the order Anseriformes which has three extant families:

  • Anatidae which includes over 140 species of ducks, geese, and swans.
  • Anseranatidae includes the Magpie Goose
  • Anhimidae which includes the three species of Screamers
All species live an aquatic existence and have partially to fully-webbed feet. Another common feature is the internal shape of the bill and how the tongue is shaped to suck in water at the tip and expel it at the sides and rear, trapping small particles for eating. Some of the species in this family have evolved away from this type of feeding but still have the vestiges of this ability.


Dabbling Ducks

Dabbling Ducks feed on plants in shallow water by dipping their heads in the water or by up-ending themselves with only their tails sticking up out of the water. Dabbling Ducks legs are situated towards the middle of their bodies which gives them the ability to walk on land. They also can leap into the air and are swift fliers.

Wigeons - Dabbling Ducks

Pintails - Dabbling Ducks

Teals - Dabbling Ducks

Shovelers - Dabbling Ducks

Diving Ducks

Diving Ducks mostly feed by diving into the water in search of food. Their legs are situated towards the back of their bodies which helps with their diving but it makes taking off difficult. Thus, some diving ducks "run" across the water to take off. Also, their legs being so far back makes it difficult for them to walk on land.

Eiders and Sea Ducks

Shelducks and related


Scoters are seaducks. In North American, they breed in the far north of and migrate south in the winter.

Goldeneyes, Stifftails, Smew

Bufflehead, Mergansers

Buffleheads and Mergansers are all sea ducks. The mergansers have serrated edges to the bills which help them grip fish.

Perching Ducks, Whistling-Ducks



Domestic & Feral Waterfowl

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