WATERFOWL of The World

The order Anseriformes contains about 150 living species of birds All species in the order are web-footed for efficient swimming and have a large wide bill with a specialized tongue that allows water to be sucked in the front of the bill. An array of plates traps food particles as the water is expelled out the sides of the bill. Not all species feed this way, some graze on plants and some also catch fish.

Anseriformes has 3 familes, but almost all of the species belong to Anatidae.
Family Anatidae: dabbling ducks, teals, diving ducks, sea duck, shelducks, geese.
Family Anatidae: stiff-tailed ducksswans, whistling ducks,
Family Anhimidae: screamers
Family Anseranatidae: magpie goose

Other species resemble the waterfowl of Anseriformes.
Order Gaviiformes, Family Gaviidae: loons
Order Gruiformes, Family Rallidae: coots, moorhens, crakes, rails
Order Podicipediformes, Family Podicipedidae: grebes


NORTH AMERICAN Dabbling Ducks

Order Anseriformes    Family Anatidae 
 


Dabbling Ducks belong to genus Anas as is also true for teals. Teals have been given their own web page as an arbitrary way to split the presentation of this large genus. Dabbling ducks do not totally submerge when feeding and are often seen with just their rears showing as the search for food. Because of their feeding method, Dabbling Ducks have evolved to be more buoyant than diving ducks. Most birders identify this type of duck as a "Dabbling Duck", but I personlly think "Dipping Duck" is more descriptive.


Genus Anas
This genus contains the dabbling ducks, so called because the dip their heads for food. They generally do not dive for food. Included are the mallard like, wigeons, teals, pintails and shovelers.

Duck, American Black Anas rubripes   Found: east North America, Bahamas
The American Black Deck has a dark brown body, dark eyes, orange legs. The female has a dull green bill, the male has a yellow bill.
Similar to: Mallard, Mottled Duck. Body variation from light to dark: Mallard, Mottled Duck, American Black Duck.  Mottled Duck and Mallard have brighter bills than American Black Duck. Mottled Duck distinguished by black mark at its gape (where bill joins face).
Image by:  1) Jimmy Smith - Mississippi  2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9) Dick Daniels - Sylvan Heights    4) Dick - Acadia National Park, Maine  7) Dick on the Cape May, New Jersey ferry
1, 2, 3, 4) Female 5 - 9) Male  




Duck, Mottled  Anas fulvigula Found: southeast North America
The Mottled Duck has a dark mottled body, lighter head and neck, orange legs and dark eyes. Both sexes have a shiny green-blue speculum (wing patch), which is not bordered with white. Black mark at gape (where bill joins face).  The male's bill is bright yellow; the female's is deep to pale orange.
Similar to: American Black Duck, Mallard. Body variation from light to dark: Mallard, Mottled Duck, American Black Duck.  Mottled Duck and Mallard have brighter bills than American Black Duck. Mottled Duck distinguished by black mark at its gape (where bill joins face).
Image by: 1) T Davis - Florida  2) Tom Friedel - Florida  3, 4, 7, 8) Dick Daniels - Florida    5) Wes Bryant - Florida   6)  Peter Wallack - Florida 
1) Ducklings  2, 3) Pair (male on left)  4) Female   5 - 8) Male


Gadwall Anas strepera   Found: North America, Europe, Asia, Africa
The breeding male Gadwall has gray upperparts and lowerparts, light chestnut wings, and a white speculum. The female has a mottled brown body, dark orange-edged bill, white speculum, light belly. The nonbreeding male resembles the female but is grayer above and has less orange on the bill.
Similar to: female Mallard. Female Gadwall has a squarer head than female Mallard. Mallard has more pronounced eye-line.
Image by: 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9) Dick Daniels - Sylvan Heights     4) Jeff Whitlock - Texas   5) Steve Voght - Washington   10 )Cristiano Crolle - Cesano Maderno, Italy   11) Charlie Westerinen - Utah
1, 2) Pair  3 - 6) Female  7 - 11) Male


Garganey Anas querquedula  Found: North America (infrequent), Europe, Asia, Africa, Australasia
The male Garganey has brown head and breast, reddish-brown face, broad white crescent over the eye, gray bill and legs. The rest of the plumage is gray. Female Garganey has light area below and in front of its dark eye-line and a light area behind and above the eye-line.
Similar to: female Blue-winged Teal. Female Blue-winged Teal has white eye-ring; female Garganey does not. Blue-winged Teal has yellow legs, Garganey does not.
Similar to: female Green-winged Teal. Female Garganey has light area below and in front of its dark eye-line and a light area behind and above the eye-line. The corresonding areas of the female teal is much darker.
Image by: 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10) Dick Daniels - Sylvan Heights     2) Sergey Pisarevskiy - Siberia, Russia   3) Frankie Chu  4) Steve Garvey - Scotland  9) Sandy Cole - Sylvan Heights   10) Cristiano Crolle - Torrile, Italy
1 - 5) Female   7 - 10) Male




Mallard Anas platyrhynchos   Found: The Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australasia
The breeding male Mallard has a glossy green head; white collar; purple-tinged brown breast; gray belly; yellowish-orange bill tipped with black. Female and nonbreeding male are predominantly mottled with individual feathers varying from buff to dark brown, a coloration shared by most female dabbling ducks. Female and nonbreeding males have dark eye-line and lighter supercilium.
Similar to: American Black Duck, Mottled Duck. Body variation from light to dark: Mallard, Mottled Duck, American Black Duck.  Mottled Duck and Mallard have brighter bills than American Black Duck. Mottled Duck distinguished by black mark at its gape (where bill joins face).
Similar to: female Gadwall. Female Gadwall has a squarer head than female Mallard. Mallard had more pronounced eye-line.
Image by: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11) Dick Daniels    4) Alan D Wilson - British Columbia  5) Cristiano Crolle - Germignaga, Italy
2 - 6) Female



Pintail, Northern Anas acuta Found: North America, Europe, Asia, Africa
Both sexes have a long neck. Male has long tail, especially when breeding. Female has plain brown head.
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - the North Carolina Zoo   2, 3, 6, 7) Dick - Sylvan Heights   4, 7) Dick - Wyoming   8) Sandy Cole - Sylvan Heights  9) Cristiano Crolle - Racconigi, Italy
1, 2) Pair 3, 4, 5) Female 6 - 8) Male


Shoveler, Northern Anas clypeata   Found: North America, Europe, Asia, Australia (rare)
All shovelers have long bills.
The breeding male Northern Shoveler has greenish black head, white breast, chestnut belly and flanks, black bill, yellow eyes. The female is mottled brown, orange bill tinged with gray, brown eyes. Nonbreeding male resembles female but is darker.
Image by: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) Dick - Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park  
1, 2) Pair  3, 4) Female 45 - 9) Male


Wigeon, American also Baldpate  Anas americana   Found: North America, southwest South America
The American Wigeon has white belly, gray legs. The breeding male has a green crescent from its eyes to nape, off white crown that extends to its bill, pinkish brown back and breast, small black tipped light bill. The nonbreeding male has vestigial green and white on its head. The female has grayish brown back, gray head, chestnut breast, small black tipped gray bill.
Similar to: Eurasian Wigeon. The male American Wigeon and Eurasian Wigeon are distinctive. The female American Wigeon has white underwing, the female Eurasian Wigeon has gray underwing.
Image by:  1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9) Dick Daniels - Sylvan Heights    3) Dick Daniels - North Carolina    4, 5) Dick - Seward, Alaska    11) Alan D Wilson - near San Diego, California
1, 2, 3) Pair  4) Adult female and juvenile   5) Juvenile  6) Female  7 - 11) Male


Wigeon, Eurasian  Anas penelope    Rare: North America. Found: Europe, Asia, Africa
The Eurasian Wigeon has white belly, gray legs, small black tipped light bill. The breeding male has gray back and flanks, chestnut head, off white crown that extends to its bill, pink breast. The female is brown. The nonbreeding male resembles the female.
Similar to: American Wigeon. The male American Wigeon and Eurasian Wigeon are distinctive. The female American Wigeon has white underwing, the female Eurasian Wigeon has gray underwing.
Image by: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) Dick Daniels - Sylvan Heights
1, 2, 3) Female 4 - 7) Male







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