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Birdzilla Center for Bird Identification - Ducks

There are 36 duck species covered in this section. An individual page is provided for each species.

Ducks are often classified in one of several general categories, as shown below. Click on the category name to see the ducks in that category.

Whistling Ducks     Perching Ducks     Dabbling Ducks (Puddle Ducks)     Diving Ducks 
Eiders     Sea Ducks     Mergansers     Stiff-tailed Ducks     Pond Ducks

What you should know:

  • 1. Male and female duck species usually exhibit a high degree of sexual dimorphism, with the females being much plainer (generally brown) in appearance.
  • 2. Both sexes of many species undergo a molt in mid-to-late summer in which they loose their flight feathers. During this period the males resemble the females and both sexes loose the ability to fly. They are considered to be in their "eclipse" plumage at this time.  The return to breeding coloration varies in species and individuals of each species. Blue-winged Teal and shovelers, for example, may retain the eclipse plumage until well into the winter.
  • 3. Identification challenges:
 There are several identification challenges among the ducks. Notes are provided on the Category pages.

Other Resources:

Take our Female Duck Identification Quiz
The Waterfowl of North America app.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Ducks at a Distance Guide.