Thursday, November 27, 2014
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Ducks

 

 

Black Duck

The black duck is notorious for being one of the smartest of all ducks. It is often very hard to call and decoy and is very suspicious of its Surroundings. It flies quite frequently with mallards, and will often leave an area when the mallards it's flying with start working the decoys. On the water it usually stays with its own species in small groups. This duck is a surface feeder.

Body: Large duck

2 1/2 - 3 pounds

24-28 inches long

Both male and female are almost identical. In fact the only difference is the color of their bills. Body plumage is dark sooty brown and feathers are thinly edged with beige. The crown is dark and sides of the head and neck are beige or light brown.

Bill of male yellow to greenish yellow. Female bill greenish olive with blotches. Feet orange to reddish orange.

Wings:
Dark with purplish blue speculum bordered with black bars on leading and trailing edges. The under wing is white with grayish colored tips.

In Flight: Black body contrasts with white underwings.

 

Voice:
Female, loud quack Male, low raspy rink.

Speed:

70 feet per second Habitat:

Breeding: On fresh and saltwater mashes in both open and wooded country. Wintering: Marshlands, sheltered bays, and estuaries. Range:

Breeding: Eastern and Northern Europe Wintering: Arabian marshes and wetlands Looks almost identical to the mottled duck Food:

Diet varies depending on area found. primarily eats plants by dabbling in bodies of water and grazing on land, also eats fish, usually late season shad,and snails.

Table Fare Rating:Fair to excellent depending on area.

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Blue-winged Teal

 

 

Usually one of the first birds to migrate, It is one of the faster flying ducks and since they are so small they appear to fly even faster. They can be a real challenge to shoot even for the experienced duck hunter. Adding to this is their erratic flight patterns which consists of dodges, twists, and circles which are done in unison, with the group acting as one. A surface feeder.

Body:

Small duck

(Male) 10 to 18 ounces

(Female) 10 to 17 ounces

24-28 inches long

(Male) Light brown body plumage heavily spotted with dark brown. The head is blue-black with a white crescent curving in front of the eye. The inner forewing is light blue and the speculum is green. The under wing is white. (Female) Light brown body plumage heavily spotted with dark brown. The head is also brown with the crown being a dark shade and the sides lighter. A dark brown stripe runs across the side of the head and through the eye.

 

Wings:

The inner forewing is light blue and the speculum is very dark brown. The under wing is white.

Voice:

Female: loud raspy quack. Sound Clip #1 #2

Male: whistle peep. Sound Clip

Speed:85 feet per second

 

Habitat:

Breeding: On fresh and saltwater marshes in open country and on the coasts of northen, eastern and western Europe. Wintering: marshlands and lakes.

Range:

Breeding: Found in northen, eastern and western Europe. Wintering: marshlands and lakes in Iraq,Iran,Syria, and North africa.

Food:

Diet consists of grass seeds and aquatic vegetation. On occasion will eat mollusks, insects, and crustaceans. Generally eat close to shore and often under cover of vegetation.

Table Fare Rating:

Excellent. Considered one of the best ducks to eat.

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Bufflehead

The Bufflehead is the smallest diving duck. Strikingly patterned in black and white, and constantly active. These compactly built birds become much heavier during migration gaining several onces of stored fat as fuel for travel. This is where they derive the name "butterballs." Like their near relatives, the goldeneyes and mergansers, Bufflehead males do not attain adult plumage until their second winter, and first breed when nearly two years old. it usually stays with its own species in small groups.

Sound Clip

Adult Males are black above and white below, with bright pink feet. They wear a white "shawl" around the back of the head, and a broad white band extends from front to back across each wing.

Adult females and first-year males are more drab, with the dark areas sooty-grey or brownish rather than black, and the white areas duller and smaller in size than in adult males.

Both sexes are normally silent, and the only sound commonly heard from Buffleheads is the "grrk" call of females alarmed near nest or brood.

Breeding Courtship occurs through the winter, becoming more intensive as spring approaches, but most pairing seems to take place during the spring migration, and the birds are paired by the time they reach breeding areas. Males outnumber females, as in most diving ducks, so an appreciable proportion of adult males remains unpaired. In most areas Buffleheads start nesting soon after their arrival. The female Bufflehead lays her eggs in a tree cavity, usually the former nest of a Flicker (woodpecker). The related goldeneyes and mergansers are also tree-nesters.

Habitat:

Breeding: Lakes, ponds, small streams in the forest zone south of the tundra. They seldom nest by rivers and larger lakes as do the other related species, possibly because these waters are inhabited by northern pike, a large fish which readily feeds on small ducklings. Wintering: Shallow, sheltered waters of coves, river mouths, and lagoons, which have a muddy or gravelly bottom. They often feed around old pilings of wharves or log booms.

Range:

Breeding: From Central to north central Europe and south to the Bulgaria and Italy.

Wintering: Along the Medditeranian coast to Iraq and Iran.

 

 

Food:

Their main foods are arthropods, mostly insect larvae in fresh water and small crustaceans (shrimps, crabs, amphipods) in salt water. In fall many seeds of aquatic plants are eaten, and in winter small marine snails or freshwater clams are taken in their respective habitats.

Table Fare Rating:Very Poor

Pictures by: BirdPhotography.com

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Canvasback

The Canvasback is a duck that is found in the North parts of the ex Soviet union . It is a favorite of hunters, as it is delicious to eat if it has itself eaten the right food. Canvasbacks take their specific name from an aquatic plant, called wild celery, or Vallisneria americana, which is one of the foods that impart an excellent flavour to this game bird.

Male and female Canvasbacks resemble Redheads and Ring-necked Ducks of the corresponding sex, but can be distinguished from them by their longer black bills and less abrupt foreheads.

Body: 24-28 inches long

Adult Male is a large, weighing 36 to 56 ounces, white-bellied, grey-backed duck with a black chest, sloping forehead, and ruddy chestnut head and neck.

Adult Female is about the same size, 33 to 49 ounces, and has the same sloping forehead and long bill. She is less colourful and thus more able to blend into her surroundings as she incubates her eggs and rears her young. She is white-bellied with a pale brown back and reddish brown head, neck, and chest.

In early autumn, the young of both sexes resemble adult females, although their breast plumage is more mottled and their back plumage is darker. During November, the young males begin to resemble the adult males, and by February the adult plumage of both sexes has almost completely grown in. The Canvasback is one of the most powerful fliers among ducks, capable of speeds of 70 miles per hour. Their wings create a loud whirring noise.

Although Canvasbacks dabble at times, they are in the diving duck class because they usually dive for their food and like other divers, they have a special lobe on their hind toe that they use like a paddle in the water.

When taking off from the water, Canvasbacks patter along the surface for some distance before becoming airborne. The Canvasback is an awkward bird on land due to its large size, short legs, and webbed feet.

 

 

Range:

Breeding: Canvasback's main breeding range in central Ukraine and Northern Europ

Wintering: Canvasbacks travel along major migration flyways. some migrate southeastwards to wintering areas along the Mediterranian coast. Some continue southwest to Africa. Large flocks migrate through Turkey and Iran to marshes region, where they are observed in large numbers.

During migration, Canvasbacks usually fly high up in V-shaped flocks. On their winter feeding grounds, they often form small compact flocks and fly about for pleasure, especially in the early morning and the late afternoon.

Canvasback Female - Raspy Quack. Sound Clip

Food:

Canvasbacks usually feed by diving in water 2 to 9 m deep, but occasionally they dabble in shallow areas with surface-feeding ducks, especially Euro Wigeon.

Their diet includes about 80% aquatic plants, primarily pondweeds, wild celery, duck potato, wild rice, banana water lily, and milfoils. Animal material consumed includes molluscs, insects, and various fish. Feeding generally occurs during the day, although Canvasbacks sometimes feed at night.

Table Fare Rating: Fair to excellent depending on area and diet.

Pictures by: BirdPhotography.com

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Cinnamon Teal

One of the first ducks to migrate.It is one of the faster flying ducks and since they are so small they appear to fly even faster. They can be a real challenge to shoot even for the experienced duck hunter. Adding to this is their erratic flight patterns which consists of dodges, twists, and circles which are done in unison, with the group acting as one.

A surface feeder.

Body:

A Small dabbling duck with a long bill that is somewhat spatulate at tip.

Body is 16" in length

Weight of male - 10 to 18 ounces

Weight of Female - 10 to 17 ounces

Adult Male Chestnut color on head, neck, breast, and under body plumage. Upper body plumage brown with light brown. The inner forewing is light blue and the speculum is green. The under wing is white. Feature of males over 8 weeks old is red eyes.

Adult Female Light brown body plumage heavily spotted with dark brown. The head is also brown with the crown being a dark shade and the sides lighter. A dark brown stripe runs across the side of the head and through the eye. The inner forewing is light blue and the speculum is very dark brown. The under wing is white. The female looks almost identical to the female Blue Wing Teal.

Wing Span:

Male: 7.25 to 7.75 inches

Female: 7 to 7.5inches

 

 

Male: A low chattering.

Female: A quack.

Speed: 85 feet per second

Habitat: On marshes and margins of ponds in open country.

Range:

Breeding Found from Northwestern Europe to Eastern parts of Russia & Ukraine. Wintering migrate to Iraq,Iran and other Tropical middle eastern countries.

Food:

Diet consists of grass seeds and aquatic vegetation. On occasion will eat mollusks and insects.

Table Fare Rating:

Excellent. Considered one of the best ducks to eat.

Pictures by: BirdPhotography.com

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Common Merganser

 

 

Common Mergansers, are generally found in freshwater habitats. Because of their relative unimportance to recreational hunters, almost nothing is known about their population dynamics. They exploit a diversity of inshore and offshore marine habitats during the non-breeding season, and their use of habitat during breeding varies from coastal through freshwater wetlands of the tundra. Sea ducks thus are important indicators of the quality of freshwater and marine ecosystems.

Body:

Length: 18 inches

Wingspan: 37 inches

Large, sleek diving duck Long, pointed bill with serrated edges. Red bill is thick at base, tapering towards tip Sleek, tapered crest, more obvious on females than on males. Brown eye White secondaries. Immature similar to adult female, often with a less-distinct chin patch.

Adult male: Greenish-black head and upper neck White breast, flanks and belly.

Adult female: Red-brown head meets pale breast in crisp line of division Well-defined white chin White breast and belly Pale gray body plumage.

Black back and upperwing coverts with white scapulars White secondary coverts crossed with indistinct dark bar Alternate plumage worn from fall through early summer Male in basic eclipse plumage similar to adult female.

Male: A whistle. Sound clip

Female: Horse croak. Sound clip

Habitat:

Breeding: On fresh marshes, shallow lakes and ponds.

Wintering: On fresh shallow lakes, ponds, and often estuaries.

Range:

Breeding: Found throughout northern Europe.

Wintering: The tropical wet lands.

Diet:

Mostly fish. Lesser quantities of aquatic invertebrates Table Fare Rating: Very Poor

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Fulvous Whistling-Duck

GIF -- Picture of Whistling Ducks

 

These 2 unique species of tree ducks are found in the extreme Southern United States. The trailing legs and rounded wings both species of these slow flying ducks makes them look bigger than they actually are. Fulvous Whistling Duck:

Body:

Medium-sized duck, up to 2 pounds 18-22 inches long, Sexes are alike in both species. Light cinnamon with dark back. Very long neck. Short dark tail with white upper- and undertail coverts. Bill bluish black. Long bluish gray legs.

Black Bellied Whistling Duck:

Body:

Medium-sized duck, up to 2 pounds

16 inches long

Sexes are alike in both species.

Light cinnamon chest and lower neck with distinct black belly. Sides of head ashy gray. Bill bright pink. Long pinkish legs.

Wings:

Fulvous Whistling Duck: Lesser and middle coverts cinnamon; remainder dusky black.

Black Bellied Whistling Duck: Lesser, middle, greater and primary coverts white. Black belly evident.

GIF -- Picture of Wings

Voice:

Both Species have shrill whistling calls. Fulvous Whistling Duck Sound Clip

In Flight:

Long legs extend behind body on both species.

GIF -- Picture of Flock Pattern

Habitat:

Wetland-open water

Range:

Fulvous Whistling Duck are primarily Mexican. In the United States they are found primarily in south Texas, Louisiana, and in Florida with occasional stragglers further north along both coasts and the Mississippi Valley.

Black-bellied Whistling Duck are also primarily Mexican. In the U.S., the Black-bellied Whistling Duck is found only in south Texas and Louisiana.

Diet:

Mostly plant matter with lesser quantities of insects

Table Fare Rating:Excellent

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Gadwall

GIF -- Picture of Gadwalls

Although not concentrated in any specific country of Northern hemisphere, this bird is fairly common in the Central Europe and Ukraine.

It is also seen in France and Western Europe.

A surface feeder.

Body:

A Medium Sized dabbling duck

Body is 14.5" in length

Weight of male is 21 to 39 ounces

Weight of female is 16 to 35 ounces

Adult Male: Lacking bright and bold colors the male is identified by it's black bordered white speculum. The remainder of the plumage is brown with gray crescent shaped markings on the breast and flanks. The bill is gray and the head is rounded with a steep forehead.

Adult Female: Lighter brown in body plumage the female is identified by it's black bordered white speculum. The bill is yellow-orange with some dark gray along the top and the head is rounded with a steep forehead. Sometimes mistaken for the female Redhead.

Wing Span:

Male: 10.25 to 11 inches

Female: 9.5 to 10 inches

GIF -- Picture of Gadwall Wings

 

Male: A beep.

Female: A rough quack.

Speed: 75 feet per second

Habitat:

On freshwater lakes, marshes, and swamps often seeking the cover of aquatic vegetation.

GIF -- Picture of Flock Pattern

Range:

Breeding: Found in prairie breeding grounds mostly in central North Europe and ex Soviet Union. This includes a belt ranging from Belgium and France to the Eastern Europe.

Wintering: Southern Sudan and middle eastern countries particularly the marshes region of Iraq and Iran.

Food:

Diet consists of grass seeds and aquatic vegetation taken at surface or just below.

Table Fare Rating: Good to excellent depending on region.

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Greater Scaup

GIF -- Picture of Lesser Scaup

 

The combined breeding population of Greater and Lesser Scaup is larger than that of any other diving duck species and greater than that of most dabbling ducks in the marshes of Arabia.

The Greater Scaup can be distinguished from the very similar Lesser Scaup by its larger size, wing stripe that extends well into the primaries, and glossy, greenish head as an adult male in alternate plumage. Both species migrate late, sometimes just before freezeup. Flock movements are rapid, often erratic, usually in compact groups

Body:

Small compact diving duck

Length: 18 - 19 inches

Weight: 1.5 to 2.0 pounds

Rounded crown Yellow eyes (brown in immatures)

Blue bill with black nail at tip

Adult Male: Similar to adult female

Adult female: Distinct white band around base of bill Dark brown body plumage Whitish belly Immature female similar to adult female, immature male is similar to female in autumn, but acquires alternate plumage during winter Adult male alternate: Alternate plumage worn from fall through early summer Glossy greenish head Black breast Whitish or pale gray flanks, white belly Whitish back with fine black vermiculations.

Wing:

Dark wing with dark-tipped white secondaries and inner primaries and pale gray outer primaries. Black upper and under-tail coverts

 

GIF -- Picture of Wings

Voice:

Male: A discordant scaup, scaup.

Female: silent.

Habitat:

large open water areas particularly brackish or saltwater habitats.

 

GIF -- Picture of Flock Pattern

Range:

Scaup are the most widespread of North Europe diving ducks extending from northern tundra in the ex Soviet Union. in summer to southern Iraq and other wet land in Arabia.

Food:

Diet consists of aquatic mollusks and insects.

Table Fare Rating: Poor

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Green-winged Teal


Male


Female

Usually one of the first birds to migrate. It is one of the faster flying ducks and since they are so small (about the size of a pigeon) they appear to fly even faster. They can be a real challenge to shoot even for the experienced duck hunter. Adding to this is their erratic flight patterns which consists of dodges, twists, and circles which are done in unison, with the group acting as one. A surface feeder.

Body:

Weight:

Adult male: 8 to 16 ounces

Adult female: 6 to 15 ounces

Male: A chestnut head with a dark green mask over the eye and extending and tapering down to the back of the head. The front of this mask is partially edged in yellow. The rear-end is black with light yellow patches. The sides of the breast have vertical white markings. The primary markings when flying is the green speculum.

Female: Light brown mottled body plumage and a dark stripe across the eye along with the green speculum help to identify the female. Wing Span:

Male: 7.25 to 7.75 inches

Female: 6.5 to 7.25inches

 

GIF -- Picture of Teal Wings

 

Male: A whistle. Sound clip #1 Sound clip #2

Female: A rough quack. Sound clip

Speed: 85 feet per second

GIF -- Picture of Flock Pattern

Habitat:

Breeding: On fresh and saltwater marshes in open country and on the coasts of northen, eastern and western Europe. Wintering: Tropical marshlands and lakes .

Range:

Breeding: Found in northen, eastern and western Europe. Wintering: marshlands and lakes in Iraq,Iran,Syria, and North africa.

Food: Diet consists almost entirely of seeds filtered from mud in marshy areas.

Table Fare Rating: Excellent. Considered one of the best ducks to eat.

Pictures by: BirdPhotography.com

 

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Lesser Scaup

The combined breeding population of Greater and Lesser Scaup is larger than that of any other diving duck species and greater than that of most dabbling ducks in North Europe. The Lesser Scaup can be distinguished from the very similar Greater Scaup by its smaller size. This late migrator often leaves the breeding range just prior to freezeup. Flock movements are rapid, often erratic, usually in compact groups.

Body:

Small compact diving duck

Length: 13 - 17 inches

Weight: 1.5 to 2.0 pounds

Peaked crown Yellow eyes

Blue bill with small black nail at tip

Adult Male: Similar to adult female

Adult female: Distinct white band around base of

bill Dark brown body plumage Whitish belly

Immature female similar to adult female, immature

male is similar to female in autumn, but acquires

alternate plumage during winter

Adult male alternate: Alternate plumage worn from fall through early summer Glossy purplish head, black breast Whitish or pale gray flanks, white belly, whitish back with fine black vermiculations. Black tail, upper- and under-tail coverts. Body:

Small compact diving duck

Length: 13 - 17 inches

Weight: 1.5 to 2.0 pounds

Peaked crown Yellow eyes

Blue bill with small black nail at tip

Adult Male: Similar to adult female

Adult female: Distinct white band around base of bill Dark brown body plumage Whitish belly Immature female similar to adult female, immature male is similar to female in autumn, but acquires alternate plumage during winter Adult male alternate: Alternate plumage worn from fall through early summer Glossy purplish head, black breast Whitish or pale gray flanks, white belly, whitish back with fine black vermiculations. Black tail, upper- and under-tail coverts.

Wing: Dark wing with dark tipped white secondaries and pale gray primaries

Male: A low purr.

Female: A silent.

Habitat: Freshwater marshes and ponds.

Range: Scaup are the most widespread of North Europe diving ducks extending from northern tundra in the ex Soviet Union. in summer to southern Iraq and other wet land in Arabia.

Diet: Consists of primarily green plant matter, and seeds. Lesser quantities of aquatic invertebrates

Table Fare Rating:Considered poor in most areas.

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Mallard


Male

 

The Mallard is no doubt the most widely recognized duck in the world. He decoys readily and responds to a call better than any other duck. It is said the male Mallard is more intelligent than the female Mallard, and their diet is varied and easy to control through the use of feed. A fact that has been used to take advantage of him illegally.

A surface feeder.

Body:

Weight:

Adult Male: 30 to 55 ounces

Adult Female: 26 to 46 ounces

Adult Male: The males has a deep green head, a white neck ring and a brown chest. The body is gray above, light brown below, and rear-end is black with a white tail. The bill is solid yellow.

Adult Female: Body plumage is brown and light brown. The crown is dark and sides of the head and neck are beige or light brown. The female has a yellow bill which is spotted or painted with olive gray.

Wing Span:

Adult Male: 11 to 12 inches Adult Female: 10 to 11.25 inches

GIF -- Picture of Mallard Wings

Adult Male: The speculum is deep blue and bordered with narrow bands of black and white.

Adult Female: The top of the wings are dark brown with a deep blue speculum bordered with narrow bands of black and white.

Voice:

Male - Low raspy rink Female - Loud resonant quack.

Speed: 70 feet per second

GIF -- Picture of Flock Pattern

 

Habitat:

Lakes, ponds, rivers, sheltered coasts. Very adaptable and often found in urban areas including yards and parks.

Range: Breeding: Across grasslands and forest zones of Europe. Wintering: Mediteranian European birds largely sedentary. Northern hemisphere birds migrate to the southern Iraq and Iran.

Food: Diet varies depending on the part of country found. Versatile eaters. Seeds, insects, water weeds, plants and invertebrates, along with land grasses and grains.

Table Rating:Fair to excellent depending on area.

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Mottled Duck
refer to black duck

 

The mottled duck is very similar in appearance to the black duck found in the United States. In fact, unless you have a species of each side by side it can be almost impossible to tell them apart. In Iraq the mottled duck is predominant.

This bird makes it's home in this region and does not usually migrate. It is not nearly as hard to call and decoy as the black duck yet it is also suspicious of its surroundings. On the water it usually stays with its own species in small groups. This duck is a surface feeder.

Body: A large dabbling duck

Weight:

Adult Male: 32 ounces to 42 ounces

Adult Female: 30 ounces to 38 ounces

Both male and female are almost identical. In fact the only difference is the color of their bills. The males bill is solid yellow. The female has a yellow bill which is spotted or painted with olive gray. Body plumage is dark brown and feathers are thinly edged with beige. The crown is dark and sides of the head and neck are beige or light brown. Legs are orange-red. Looks almost identical to the black duck found in the Atlantic flyway.

Wing Span:

Adult Male: 10.5 to 11.75 inches

Adult Female: 9.75 to 10.75 inches

The top of the wings are dark brown with a dark purple speculum. The under wing is white with grayish colored tips.

Speed: 70 feet per second

Habitat:Breeding & Wintering:

On fresh and saltwater mashes in both open and wooded country.

Range: Breeding & Wintering:

The southern and central region of Iraq and Iran. This bird does not normally migrate.

Food: Diet varies depending on the part of country found. Primarily eats plants by dabbling in bodies of water. Table Fare Rating:Fair to excellent.

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Northern Shoveler

GIF -- Picture of Shovelers

Very easy to identify by it's unique bill, this bird is easily shot, often to the despair of the hunter who does not usually regard him as a good tasting bird. This bird migrates early and is a surface feeder. It is said that the drake resembles the drake Mallard when in full color

Body:

Length: 19.5 inches

Weight: 1-1/2 pounds

A medium sized dabbling duck that is distinguished by it's large bill.

Adult male: The head and neck is green, the chest is white and the remainder of the under parts are chestnut. Black bill and yellow eyes. The back is black. Adult female: A huge bill immediately identifies this bird. The bill is Orange with dusky patches. Brown eyes. The body of the female is brown and Light brown.

Wing Span:

Adult Male: 9 to 10 inches

Adult Female: 8.5 to 9.5inches

GIF -- Picture of Shoveler Wings

 

Adult Male: The scapulars are black and white. The inner forewing is pale blue.

Adult Female: The inner forewing is pale blue

Female: A feeble quack.

Habitat:

Inland shallow muddy marshes and lakes, the shallow margins of large lake and sometimes in saltwater and brackish lagoons and shallow bays.

GIF -- Picture of Flock Pattern

Range:

Breeding: Across grasslands and forest zones of Europe. Wintering: Mediteranian European birds largely sedentary. Northern hemisphere birds migrate to the southern Iraq and Iran.

Food:

Diet consists of filtered plankton, water beetles, small minnows, and snails.

Table Fare Rating:

Poor to Fair. at least 30% of their diet consists of insect and non-plant matter.

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Pintail


Male

The Pintail is probably one of the most beautiful ducks. It is very graceful in flight and does not take kindly to flying in bad weather. The Pintail is a surface feeding dabbling duck.

Body:

Large-appearing duck, with very long neck, small head and attenuated rear .

Length: 26 inches

Weight: 2 pounds

Adult Male: The male has a rich brown head with a white line running up the back of the neck from the breast. The body is gray above and on the flanks. Feet gray. Elongated black tail. The long black tail feathers of the male help distinguish it in flight as they add up to 4 inches to it's length. The bill is gray-blue with a black strip down middle.

Adult Female: Body plumage is brown and light brown with a slightly grayer tint than other female surface feeding ducks. The bill is gray-blue with small black spots. Feet gray. Wing Span:10 to 11 inches for both sexes

Male: The long scapulars are black, white, and light brown

Speed: 75 feet per second

Male: Whistle.

Female: Hoarse quack.

Speed: 85 feet per second Habitat: marshy tundra, forest marshes, lakes, ponds, inland marshlands, and sheltered coasts. Range: Breeding: Across grasslands and forest zones of Europe. Wintering: Mediteranian European birds largely sedentary. Northern hemisphere birds migrate to the southern Iraq and Iran. Diet: Animal and plant food sifted from lake bed mud. Land seeds and tubers. Table Fare Rating: Fair to excellent depending on area.

Pictures by: BirdPhotography.com

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Redhead

GIF -- Picture of Redheads

 

The Redhead, a diving duck, is a well-known and widely distributed European diving duck. It is an open-water bird and during migration is sometimes found in huge congregations, called "rafts," well out from shore in larger lakes and bays.

Body:

Medium-sized duck

Weight: 2 - 2 1/2 pounds

Length: 20-22 inches long.

Adult male: is a large, grey-backed, white-breasted duck with a reddish-chestnut head and black neck and chest. It resembles the larger male Canvasback. At close range, the head appears puffy, with an abrupt forehead and a short, broad bill, while the Canvasback's bill is longer and slopes down from the forehead. Adult female: is a large, brown-backed, white-breasted duck with a brown head, whitish chin, abrupt forehead, short, broad bill, and pearl-grey wing patches. Female Redheads, although larger, may be confused with female Ring-necked Ducks and scaups.

In autumn young Redheads resemble adult females, although their breast plumage is dull grey-brown, rather than white. During November and December, the young begin to develop the adult plumage, which has almost completely grown in by February.

Wings: Adult male: 7.25 to 7.75 inches - Grayish brown with faint white flecking. Speculum dull pearl gray with faint white trailing. edge Adult female: 7 to 7.5inches - Similar to male but less flecking.

GIF -- Picture of Wings

Voice:

Male: Deep meow or purr.

Female: Loud squawk or quack.

GIF -- Picture of Flock Pattern

Range:

Breeding Area: The Redhead's principal breeding range is in the prairies of Europe.

Wintering: Northern hemisphere birds migrate to the southern Iraq and Iran.

Redheads feed by diving in water 3 - 15 15 deep and sometimes feed on the surface in muddy shallow areas, as do dabbling ducks. Redheads consume a higher proportion of plant material than any other diving duck, with 90 percent of their diet including such plants as pond weeds, musk grass, sedges, grasses, wild celery, and duckweed.

Table Rating: good

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Wigeon


Male


Female


Average length:
Male: 50 cm
Female:48 cm

Average weight:
Male: 0.816 kg
Female: 0.725 kg

Description: Both males and females have a bluish black-tipped bill.
Male wigeons have a white patch from the forehead to the middle of the crown and an iridescent green band from the eye to the back of the head. They have pinkish-brown breast and sides that are separated from the black undertail coverts by white flank feathers. In flight, the white shoulder patch is diagnostic. The legs and feet
are blue-gray to dark gray.
Male whistles a "whee whee whew."

Female American wigeons have a gray head with a brownish black crown and brownish chest and sides. The legs and feet are blue-gray to dark gray.

Female vocalization is a "qua-ack."

Breeding:
Wigeon nest farther north than any other dabbling duck with the exception of the northern pintail.They breed throughout northern Russia, Ukraine, and Scandinavia. Wigeon prefer shallow lakes and marshy sloughs that are surrounded by dry sedge-lined meadows and contain submergent vegetation.
Female wigeons lay an average of 9 eggs.

 



Migrating and Wintering: Wigeon are among the earliest waterfowl to reach their

wintering grounds.
Wigeon in Scandinavia and western Europe migrate along the Atlantic Flyway and winter in north and west Africa.

Birds that use the Central flyway along the Black sea, Turkey flyway, wetlands and lakes in southern Iraq, and western Iran provide very important wintering habitat for them. They use a variety of habitats in winter, including ponds, lakes, and saline and brackish marshes with abundant aquatic vegetation.
Wigeon also readily forage on grasses and sedges in wet meadows and
pastures.

Food habits: Wigeon are aquatic grazers and forage on grasses and
sedges in wet meadows and pastures.

Pictures by: BirdPhotography.com

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Shoveler


Male


Female