WATERFOWL of South America

The order Anseriformes contains about 150 living species of birds in three families: the Anhimidae (the screamers), Anseranatidae (the Magpie Goose), and the Anatidae, which includes over 140 species of waterfowl, among them the ducks, geese, and swans. 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.



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.

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.
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, White-cheeked Anas bahamensis   Found: Infrequently in Florida, Galapagos Islands, South America
The White-cheeked Pintail is mainly brown, has a white throat and cheeks, gray bill with white cheeks. No similar birds in its range.
Image by:  1, 2) Dick Daniels- Mary Point Pond, St. John, Virgin Islands   3, 5, 7, 8) Dick Daniels - Sylvan Heights    4) Dick - Washington National Zoo    6) Dick - the Galapagos Islands 9) Dick - the Galapagos Islands  10) Sandy Cole - Sylvan Heights
7, 8, 9) White morph




Pintail, Yellow-billed  Anas georgica  Found:  South America 
The Yellow-billed Pintail has brown head and neck, yellow bill with black tip and black stripe, brown tail, brownish tail, grayish brown upper wing, blackish-green secondaries.The rest of the body is buffish brown with varying size black spots.
Similar to : Yellow-billed Teal. Yellow-billed Pintail has spotted flanks, Yellow-billed teal does not. Yellow-billed teal has larger spots on chest than Yellow-billed Pintail.
Image by: 1, 2, 3, 5) Dick Daniels - Sylvan Heights  4) Charlie Westerinen - Tierra Del Fuego


Shoveler, Red  Anas platalea  Found:  South America 
The Red Shoveler has mainly cinnamon colored plumage with dark spot; light gray head, black bill.
Similar to: Cinnamon Teal. Male Cinnamon Teal has darker head than male Red Shoveler.
Image by: 1, 2, 5) Dick Daniels - Sylvan Heights 3) Dick - San Diego Zoo  4) Cláudio Timm - Argentine Lake, Argentina


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.
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, Chilöe Anas sibilatrix   Found: South America
The Chiloe Wigeon has gray back with white patterns, dark green head, white cheeks and forehead, gray black tipped bill, black and white barred breast, orange brown sides.
Image by: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6) Dick Daniels - Sylvan Heights  2) Sandy Cole - Sylvan Heights 
1) Female top, male bottom  2, 3, 4) Probably female  5, 6) Probably male



Genus Lophonetta - 1 species

Duck, Crested Lophonetta specularoides  Found: South America
The Crested Duck has dark brown upperparts with some light mottling, light mottled brown underparts, dark crown with darker mask.
Similar to: Marbled Duck. Their ranges do not overlap.
Image by:  1, 2) Claudio Timm  - Argentine Lake, Argentina  3, 4) Charlie Westerinen - Ushuaia Argentina.



Genus Pteronetta - 1 species

Duck, Hartlaub's Pteronetta hartlaubii Found: African forests
The Harlaub's Duck has chestnut plumage with black head and upper neck, white above base of the bill.
Image by:  1, 2, 3) Dick Daniels - Sylvan Heights



Genus Speculanas - 1 species

Duck, Bronze-winged also Spectacled Duck  Speculanas specularis  Found: South America
The Bronze-winged duck has a bronze speculum, white spectacles, and a white partial collar.
Image by: 1, 2, 3) Dick Daniels - Sylvan Heights  3) Dick - Sylvan Heights



Genus Tachyeres
There a 4 species of Steamer-ducks. Three are flightless and one can fly, but only rarely.  The Steamer-ducks have been traditionally been listed withe shelducks, but DNA evidence indicates they are closer to the Bronzed-winged duck.

Duck, Flying Steamer-  Tachyeres patachonicus  Found: South America
The Flying Streamer-Duck is the only one that can fly and the only one found on inland lakes.
Image by Charlie Westerinen - Ushuaia, Argentina
1, 2) Female





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