American Black Duck (Puddle Duck)

American Black Duck
The American black duck (Anas rubripes) is a large dabbling duck. American black ducks are similar to mallards in size, and resemble the female mallard in coloration, although the black duck's plumage is darker. It is native to eastern North America and has shown reduction in numbers and increasing hybridization with the more common mallard as that species has spread with man-made habitat changes.[10]

American black ducks weigh 720–1,640 g (1.59–3.62 lb), measure 48–63 cm (19–25 in) in length and 88–96 cm (35–38 in) across the wings. Although they are similar to mallards in size and broadly overlap in weight, according to a manual of avian body masses, they have the highest mean body mass in the Anasgenus, with 376 males averaging 1.4 kg (3.1 lb) and 176 females averaging 1.1 kg (2.4 lb). The American black duck omewhat
resembles the female mallard in coloration, although the black duck's plumage is darker. The male and female black duck are generally similar in appearance, but the male's bill is yellow while the female's is a dull green. [10}

​​The head is slightly lighter brown than the dark brown body, and the speculums are iridescent violet-blue with predominantly black margins. The black duck has orange legs and dark eyes. In flight, the white underwings can be seen in contrast to the dark brown body. The behaviour and voice are the same as for the mallard drake[10]

Their breeding habitat is alkaline marshes, acid bogs, lakes, ponds, rivers, marshes, brackish marshes, and the margins of estuaries and other aquatic environments in northern Saskatchewan, Manitoba, across Ontario and Quebec as well as the Atlantic Canadian Provinces, including the Great Lakes, and theAdirondacks in the United States.[10]

Gadwall Duck (Puddle Duck)

Gadwall Duck
The gadwall (Anas strepera) is one of the most common and widespread dabbling ducks[2] in the family Anatidae. It usually frequents Wetlands and dabbles for food.[8]
 
The gadwall is 46–56 cm (18–22 in) long with a 78–90 cm (31–35 in) wingspan. The male is slightly larger than the female, weighing on average 990 g (35 oz) against her 850 g (30 oz). The breeding male is patterned grey, with a black rear end, light chestnut wings, and a brilliant white speculum, obvious in flight or at rest. In non-breeding (eclipse) plumage, the drake looks more like the female, but retains the male wing pattern, and is usually greyer above and has less orange on the bill.[8]

The female is light brown, with plumage much like a female mallard. It can be distinguished from that species by the dark orange-edged bill, smaller size, the white speculum, and white belly. Both sexes go through two moults annually, following a juvenile moult.[8]

The gadwall is a quieter duck, except during its courtship display. Females give a call similar to the quack of a female mallard but higher-pitched, transcribed as gag-ag-ag-ag. Males give a grunt, transcribed as nheck, and a whistle[8]
 

​​​The Gadwall is a bird of open wetlands, such as prairie or steppe lakes, wet grassland or marshes with dense fringing vegetation, and usually feeds by dabbling for plant food with head submerged. It nests on the ground, often some distance from water. It is not as gregarious as some dabbling ducks outside the breeding season and tends to form only small flocks.

This is a fairly quiet species; the male has a hoarse whistling call, and the female has a Mallard-like quack.[8]

Mallard Duck (Puddle Duck)

Mallard Duck

The mallard (/ˈmælɑːrd/ or /ˈmælərd/) or wild duck (Anas platyrhynchos) is a dabbling duck which breeds throughout the temperate and subtropical Americas, Europe, Asia, and North Africa.[11]
 
The male birds (drakes) have a glossy green head and are grey on wings and belly, while the females (hens or ducks) have mainly brown-speckled plumage. Both sexes have an area of white-bordered black speculum feathers which commonly also include iridescent blue feathers especially among males. Mallards live in wetlands, eat water plants and small animals, and are social animals preferring to congregate in groups or flocks of varying sizes.[11]
 
The mallard is a medium-sized waterfowl species although is often slightly heavier than most other dabbling ducks. It is 50–65 cm (20–26 in) long (of which the body makes up around two-thirds), has a wingspan of 81–98 cm (32–39 in), and weighs 0.72–1.58 kg (1.6–3.5 lb). Among standard measurements, the wing chord is 25.7 to 30.6 cm (10.1 to 12.0 in), the bill is 4.4 to 6.1 cm (1.7 to 2.4 in) and the tarsus is 4.1 to 4.8 cm (1.6 to 1.9 in).[11] 
 
The breeding male mallard is unmistakable, with a glossy bottle-green head and white collar which demarcates the head from the purple-tinged brown breast, grey brown wings, and a pale grey belly. The rear of the male is black, with the dark tail having white borders. The bill of the male is a yellowish orange tipped with black while that of the female is generally darker ranging from black to mottled orange. The female mallard is predominantly mottled with each individual feather showing sharp contrast from buff to very dark brown, a coloration shared by most female dabbling ducks, and has buff cheeks, eyebrow, throat and neck with a darker crown and eye-stripe
[11]
 
Both male and female mallards have distinct iridescent purple blue speculum feathers edged with white, prominent in flight or at rest, though temporarily shed during the annual summer moult. Upon hatching, the plumage colouring of the duckling is yellow on the underside and face (with streaks by the eyes) and black on the back (with some yellow spots) all the way to the top and back of the head. Its legs and bill are also black. As it nears a month in age, the duckling's plumage will start becoming drab, looking more like the female (though its plumage is more streaked) and its legs will lose their dark grey colouring. Two months after hatching, the fledgling period has ended and the duckling is now a juvenile. Between three to four months of age, the juvenile can finally begin flying as its wings are fully developed for flight (which can be confirmed by the sight of purple speculum feathers). Its bill will soon lose its dark grey colouring and its sex can finally be distinguished visually by three factors. The bill colouring is yellow in males, black and orange for females. The breast feathers are reddish-brown for males, brown for females. The centre tail feather is curled for males (called a drake feather), straight for females.[11]
 
The mallard is widely distributed across the Northern and Southern Hemispheres; in North America from southern and central Alaska to Mexico, the Hawaiian Islands, across Eurasia, from Iceland and southern Greenland and parts of Morocco (North Africa) in the west, Scandinavia to the north, and to Siberia, Japan,and South Korea, in the east, Australia and New Zealand in the Southern hemisphere. It is strongly migratory in the northern parts of its breeding range, and winters farther south. For example, in North America, it winters south to Mexico, but also regularly strays into Central America and theCaribbean between September and May.[11]
 
The mallard inhabits a wide range of habitat and climates, from Arctic tundra to subtropical regions. It is found in both fresh- and salt-water wetlands, including parks, small ponds, rivers, lakes and estuaries, as well as shallow inlets and open sea within sight of the coastline. Water depths of less than 1 metre (3.3 ft) are preferred, birds avoiding areas more than a few metres deep. They are attracted to bodies of water with aquatic
vegetation.[11]

 

Northern Pintail (Puddle Duck)

Northern Pintail
The pintail or northern pintail (Anas acuta) is a duck with wide geographic distribution that breeds in the northern areas of Europe, Asia and North America. It is migratory and winters south of itsbreeding range to the equator. Unusually for a bird with such a large range, it has no geographical subspecies if the possibly conspecific duck Eaton's pintail is considered to be a separate species.

This is a large duck, and the male's long central tail feathers give rise to the species' English and scientific names. Both sexes have blue-grey bills and grey legs and feet. The drake is more striking, having a thin white stripe running from the back of its chocolate-coloured head down its neck to its mostly white undercarriage. The drake also has attractive grey, brown, and black patterning on its back and sides. The hen's plumage is more subtle and subdued, with drab brown feathers similar to those of other female dabbling ducks. Hens make a coarse quack and the drakes a flute-like whistle.[14]

The northern pintail is a bird of open wetlands which nests on the ground, often some distance from water. It feeds by dabbling for plant food and adds small invertebrates to its diet during the nesting season. It is highly gregarious when not breeding, forming large mixed flocks with other species of duck. This duck's population is affected by predators, parasites and avian diseases. Human activities, such as agriculture, hunting and fishing, have also had a significant impact on numbers. Nevertheless, owed to the huge range and large population of this species, it is not threatened globally.[14]
 
This species is unmistakable in the northern hemisphere due to its large spatulate bill. The breeding drake has an iridescent dark green head, white breast and chestnut belly and flanks. In flight, pale blue forewing feathers
are revealed, separated from the green speculum by a white border. In early fall the male will have a white crescent on each side of the face. In non-breeding (eclipse) plumage, the drake resembles the female.[13]
 
The northern pintail is a fairly large duck with a wing chord of 23.6–28.2 cm (9.3–11.1 in) and wingspan of 80–95 cm (31–37 in).[10] The male is 59–76 cm (23–30 in) in length and weighs 450–1,360 g (0.99–3.00 lb), and therefore is considerably larger than the female, which is 51–64 cm (20–25 in) long and weighs 454–1,135 g (1.001–2.502 lb).[11] The northern pintail broadly overlaps in size with the similarly-widespread mallard, but is more slender, elongated and gracile, with a relatively longer neck and (in males) a longer tail. The unmistakable breeding plumaged male has a chocolate-brown head and white breast with a white stripe extending up the side of the neck. Its upperparts and sides are grey, but elongated grey feathers with black central stripes are draped across the back from the shoulder area. The vent area is yellow, contrasting with the black underside of the tail, which has the central feathers elongated to as much as 10 cm (3.9 in). The bill is bluish and the legs are blue-grey.[14]
 
The adult female is mainly scalloped and mottled in light brown with a more uniformly grey-brown head, and its pointed tail is shorter than the male's; it is still easily identified by its shape, long neck, and long grey bill.[8] In non-breeding (eclipse) plumage, the drake pintail looks similar to the female, but retains the male upperwing pattern and long grey shoulder feathers. Juvenile birds resemble the female, but are less neatly scalloped and have a duller brown speculum with a narrower trailing edge.[14]
 
The pintail walks well on land, and swims well. It has a very fast flight, with its wings slightly swept-back, rather than straight out from the body like other ducks. In flight, the male shows a black speculum bordered white at the rear and pale rufous at the front, whereas the female's speculum is dark brown bordered with white, narrowly at the front edge but very prominently at the rear, being visible at a distance of 1,600 m (0.99 mi).[14]
 
The male's call is a soft proop-proop whistle, similar to that of the common teal, whereas the female has a mallard-like descending quack, and a low croak when flushed.[14]

Northern Shoveller (Puddle Duck)

Northern Shoveller Duck
The northern shoveller (/ˈʃʌvələr/; Anas clypeata), or northern shoveller in British English, sometimes known simply as the shoveller, is a common and widespread duck. It breeds in northern areas ofEurope and Asia and across most of North America, wintering in southern Europe, Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and Central, and northern South America. It is a rare vagrant toAustralia. In North America, it breeds along the southern edge of Hudson Bay and west of this body of water, and as far south as the Great Lakes west to Colorado, Nevada, and Oregon.[13]

This species is unmistakable in the northern hemisphere due to its large spatulate bill. The breeding drake has an iridescent dark green head, white breast and chestnut belly and flanks. In flight, pale blue forewing feathers are revealed, separated from the green speculum by a white border. In early fall the male will have a white crescent on each side of the face. In non-breeding (eclipse) plumage, the drake resembles the female.[13]

The female is a drab mottled brown like other dabblers,[8] with plumage much like a female mallard, but easily distinguished by the long broad bill, which is gray tinged with orange on cutting edge and lower mandible. The female's forewing is gray.[13]
 
They are 48 cm (19 in) long and have a wingspan of 76 cm (30 in) with a weight of 600 g (1.3 lb).[13]
 

Northern shovelers feed by dabbling for plant food, often by swinging its bill from side to side and using the bill to strain food from the water. They use their highly specialized bill (from which their name is derived) to forage for aquatic invertebrates – a carnivorous diet. Their wide-flat bill is equipped with well-developed lamellae – small, comb-like structures on the edge of the bill that act like sieves, allowing the birds to skim crustaceans and plankton from the water's surface. This adaptation, more specialized in shovelers, gives them an advantage over other puddle ducks, with which they do not have to compete for food resources during most of the year. Thus, mud-bottomed marshes rich in invertebrate life are their habitat of choices.[13]

The shoveler prefers to nest in grassy areas away from open water. Their nest is a shallow depression on the ground, lined with plant material and down. Hens typically lay about nine eggs. The drakes are very territorial during breeding season and will defend their territory and partners from competing males. Drakes also engage in elaborate courtship behaviors, both on the water and in the air; it is not uncommon for a dozen or more males to pursue a single hen. Despite their stout appearance, shovelers are nimble fliers.[13]

This is a fairly quiet species. The male has a clunking call, whereas the female has a Mallard-like quack. [13]
This is a bird of open wetlands, such as wet grassland or marshes with some emergent vegetation. [13]

This dabbling duck is strongly migratory and winters further south than its breeding range. It has occasionally been reported as a vagrant as far south as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. It is not as gregarious as some dabbling ducks outside the breeding season and tends to form only small flocks. Among North America's duck species, northern shovelers trail only mallards and blue-winged teal in overall abundance. Their populations have been healthy since the 1960s, and have soared in recent years to more than 4 million birds (2011), most likely because of favorable breeding, migration, and wintering habitat conditions.[13]

 

Blue-Winged Teal (Puddle Duck)

Blue Winged Teal Duck
The blue-winged teal (Anas discors) is a small dabbling duck from North America.[12]

The blue-winged teal is 40 cm (16 in) long, with a wingspan of 58 cm (23 in), and a weight of 370 g (13 oz). The adult male has a greyish blue head with a white facial crescent, a light brown body with a white patch near the rear and a black tail. The adult female is mottled brown, and has a whitish area at base of bill. Both sexes have sky-blue wing coverts, a green speculum, and yellow legs. They have two molts per year and a third molt in their first year. The call of the male is a short whistle; the female's call is a soft quack.[12]

The range is all of North America except western and northern Alaska, northern Yukon Territory, northern Northwest Territories and the northeastern area of Canada. Blue-winged teal are rare in the desert southwest, and the west coast. The breeding habitat of the blue-winged teal is marshes and ponds.[12]

They migrate in flocks to winter in to the south of its breeding range. During migration, some birds may fly long distances over open ocean. They are occasional vagrants to Europe, where their yellow legs are a distinction from other small ducks like the common teal and Garganey, and in recent years have been annual vagrants in Britain and Ireland. 

The blue-winged teal winters from southern California to western and southern Texas, the Gulf Coast to the Atlantic Coast and south to Central and South America. It is often seen wintering as far south as Brazil and central Chile. [12]

Blue-winged teal inhabit shoreline more often than open water and prefer calm water or sluggish currents to fast water. They inhabit inland marshes, lakes, ponds, pools, and shallow streams with dense emergent vegetation. 

In coastal areas, breeding occurs in salt-marsh meadows with adjoining ponds or creeks. Blue-winged teal use rocks protruding above water, muskrat houses, trunks or limbs of fallen trees, bare stretches of shoreline, or mud flats for resting sites.[12]

Blue-winged teal winter on shallow inland freshwater marshes and brackish and saltwater marshes. They build their nests on dry ground in grassy sites such as bluegrass meadows, hayfields, and sedge meadows. They will also nest in areas with very short, sparse vegetation. Blue-winged teal generally nest within several hundred yards of open water; however, nests have been found as far as 1.61 km (1 mi) away from water. Where the habitat is good, they nest communally.[12]

Blue-winged teal often use heavy growth of bulrushes and cattails as escape cover. Grasses, sedges, and hayfields provide nesting cover for these ducks. Erik Fritzell reported that blue-winged teal nests located in light to sparse cover were more successful than those in heavy cover. Nesting success was 47% on grazed areas and 14% on ungrazed areas.[12]

The blue-winged teal is primarily found in the northern prairies and parklands. It is the most abundant duck in the mixed-grass prairies of the Dakotas and the

prairie provinces of Canada. The blue-winged teal is also found in wetlands of boreal forest associations, shortgrass prairies, tallgrass prairies, and deciduous woodlands.[12]

These birds feed by dabbling in shallow water at the edge of marshes or open water. They mainly eat plants; their diet may include molluscs and aquatic insects.[12]

Blue-winged teal are generally the first ducks south in the fall and the last ones north in the spring. Adult drakes depart the breeding grounds well before adult hens and immatures. Most blue-winged teal flocks seen after mid-September are composed largely of adult hens and immatures. The northern regions experience a steady decline in blue-winged teal populations from early September until early November. Blue-winged teal in central migration areas tend to remain through September, then diminish rapidly during October, with small numbers remaining until December. Large numbers of blue-winged teal appear on wintering grounds in Florida, Louisiana, and Texas in September.[12]

 

Green-Winged Teal (Puddle Duck)

Green Winged Teal Duck
The green-winged teal (Anas carolinensis or Anas crecca carolinensis) is a common and widespread duck that breeds in the northern areas of North America except on the Aleutian Islands. [15]

This dabbling duck is strongly migratory and winters far south of its breeding range. It is highly gregarious outside of the breeding season and will form large flocks. In flight, the fast, twisting flocks resemble waders.[15]

This is the smallest North American dabbling duck. The breeding male has grey flanks and back, with a yellow rear end and a white-edged green speculum, obvious in flight or at rest. It has a chestnut head with a green eye patch. It is distinguished from drake common teals (the Eurasian relative of this bird) by a vertical white stripe on side of breast, the lack of both a horizontal white scapular stripe and the lack of thin buff lines on its head.[15]
 
​The females are light brown, with plumage much like a female mallard. They can be distinguished from most ducks on size, shape, and the speculum. Separation from female common teal is problematic.[15]
 
In non-breeding (eclipse) plumage, the drake looks more like the female.[15]
It is a common duck of sheltered wetlands, such as taiga bogs, and usually feeds by dabbling for plant food or grazing. It nests on the ground, near water and under cover.[15]
This is a noisy species. The male has a clear whistle, whereas the female has a feeble quack.[15}
All three green-winged teal subspecies occur in the northern hemisphere during summer and in winter extend to northern South America, central Africa, southern India, Burma, and the Philippines. In North America, ssp. carolinensis occurs across the continent and is joined in the Aleutian Islands by ssp. nimia, which remains there throughout the year. Anas crecca breeds in Iceland, Europe, and Asia. It is also seen occasionally during the winter in North America along the Atlantic Coast.[15]
The American green-winged teal breeds from the Aleutian Islands, northern Alaska, Mackenzie River delta, northern Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Labrador south to central California, central Nebraska, central Kansas, southern Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland, and the Maritime Provinces.[15]
The American green-winged teal winters from southern Alaska and southern British Columbia east to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and south to Central America. It also winters in Hawaii.[15]
 

American Wigeon (Puddle Duck)

American Wigeon Duck
The American wigeon (Anas americana), also American widgeon or baldpate, is a species of dabbling duck found in North America.[9]

The American wigeon is a medium-sized bird; it is larger than a teal, but smaller than a pintail. In silhouette, the wigeon can be distinguished from other dabblers by its round head, short neck, and small bill. It is 42–59 cm (17–23 in) long, with a 76–91 cm (30–36 in) wingspan and a weight of 512–1,330 g (1.129–2.932 lb).[3][4][5] This wigeon has two adult molts per year and a juvenile molt in the first year, as well.[9]

The breeding male (drake) is a striking bird with a mask of green feathers around its eyes and a cream colored cap running from the crown of its head to its bill. This white patch gives the wigeon its other common name, baldpate (pate is another word for head). Their belly is also white. In flight, drakes can be identified by the large white shoulder patch on each wing. These white patches flash as the birds bank and turn. In non-breeding (eclipse) plumage, the drake looks more like the female.[9]

The hens are much less conspicuous, having primarily gray and brown plumage.

Both sexes have a pale blue bill with a black tip, a white belly, and gray legs and feet.The wing patch behind the speculum is gray. They can be distinguished from most ducks, apart from Eurasian wigeon, by shape. However, that species has a darker head and all grey underwing. The head and neck coloring of the female is different as opposed to the Eurasian wigeon.[9]

It nests on the ground, near water and under cover. It lays 6–12 creamy white eggs. Flocks will often contain American coots.[9]

The American wigeon is a noisy species, and in the field can often be identified by their distinctive calls. Drakes produce a three note whistle, while hens emit hoarse grunts and quacks. The male whistle makes a wheezy whoee-whoe-whoe, whereas the female has a low growl qua-ack.[9]

It is common and widespread, breeding in all but the extreme north of Canada and Alaska and also in the Interior West through Idaho, Colorado, the Dakotas, and Minnesota, as well as easternWashington and Oregon. 

The conservation status of this bird is Least Concern. The majority of the population breeds on wetlands in the Boreal Forest and subarctic river deltas of Canada and Alaska. Although wigeon are found in each flyway, they are

most numerous in the Pacific Flyway. Key wintering areas here include the Central Valley of California and Washington's Puget Sound. Farther east,the Texas Panhandle and the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Texas also support large numbers of wintering wigeon.[9]

This dabbling duck is migratory and winters farther south than its breeding range, in the southern half of the United States, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and the Mid-Atlantic coastal region, and further south into Central America and northwestern South America.[7] It is a rare but regular vagrant to western Europe.[9]

In 2009, an estimated 2.5 million breeding wigeon were tallied in the traditional survey area—a level just below the 1955–2009 average. In recent decades, wigeon numbers have declined in the prairie-parkland region of Canada and increased in the interior and west coast of Alaska. The American wigeon is often the fifth most commonly harvested duck in the United States, behind the mallard,green-winged teal, gadwall, and wood duck.[9]

 

Eurasian Wigeon (Puddle Duck)

Eurasian Wigeon Duck
The Eurasian wigeon, also known as widgeon or Eurasian widgeon (Anas penelope, and sometimes Mareca penelope) is one of three species of wigeon in the dabbling duck genus Anas. It is common and widespread within its range.[41]

This dabbling duck is 42–52 cm (17–20 in) long with a 71–80 cm (28–31 in) wingspan, and a weight of 500–1,073 g (1.102–2.366 lb). The breeding male has grey flanks and back, with a black rear end, a dark green speculum and a brilliant white patch on upper wings, obvious in flight or at rest. It has a pink breast, white belly, and a chestnut head with a creamy crown. In non-breeding (eclipse) plumage, the drake looks more like the female. The female is light brown, with plumage much like a female American wigeon. It can be distinguished from most other ducks, apart from American wigeon, on shape. However, that species has a paler head and white axillaries on its underwing. The female can be a rufous morph with a redder head, and a gray morph with a more gray head[41]

It breeds in the northernmost areas of Europe and Asia. It is the Old World counterpart of North America's American wigeon. It is strongly migratory and winters further south than its breeding range. It migrates to southern Asia and Africa. In Great Britain and Ireland, the Eurasian wigeon is common as a winter visitor, but scarce as a breeding bird in Scotland, the Lake District, the Pennines and occasionally further south, with only a handful of breeding pairs in Ireland. It can be found as an uncommon winter visitor in the United States on the mid-Atlantic and Pacific coasts. It is a rare visitor to the rest of the United States except for the Four Corners and the southern Appalachians.[41]

The Eurasian wigeon is a bird of open wetlands, such as wet grassland or marshes with some taller vegetation, and usually feeds by dabbling for plant food or grazing, which it does very readily. It nests on the ground, near water and under cover. It is highly gregarious outside of the breeding season and will form large flocks. They will join with flocks of the American wigeon in the United States, and they also hybridize with them. This is a noisy species. The male has a clear whistle that sounds like: "pjiew pjiew", whereas the female has a low growl : "rawr". [41]

 

Wood Duck (Puddle Duck)

Wood Duck
​​The wood duck or Carolina duck (Aix sponsa) is a species of perching duck found in North America. It is one of the most colorful North American waterfowl.[7]

The wood duck is a medium-sized perching duck. [7]

A typical adult is from 47 to 54 cm (19 to 21 in) in length with a wingspan of between 66 to 73 cm (26 to 29 in). This is about three-quarters of the length of an adult mallard. It shares its genus with the Asian Mandarin duck (Aix galericulata).[7]

The adult male has distinctive multicolored iridescent plumage and red eyes,with a distinctive white flare down the neck. The female, less colorful, has a white eye-ring and a whitish throat. Both adults have crested heads.[7]

The male's call is a rising whistle, jeeeeee; the females utter a drawn-out, rising squeal, do weep do weep, when flushed, and a sharp cr-r-ek, cr-e-ek for an alarm call. [7]

 

References 

Disclaimer

If you want more information use the form below and contact us.