Even experts can sometimes having a hard time identifying ducks on the wing, especially in non-breeding plumage. Fortunately though, wings—which don't change over the course of the year—provide a reliable way to identify ducks by species and sex. Our series of video guides will help you identify some common species by their wings when you have them in hand, which can not only add to your enjoyment of the birds, but can help you figure out your bag limit too!
And if you want more information on the rest of the duck, check out our waterfowl identification pages.
Did you know that we use wings to study waterfowl, which helps us manage them? Each year since 1961, fish and wildlife professionals gather together to learn more about waterfowl populations by examining duck wings and goose wing tips and tail feathers submitted by hunters. Using age, sex, and breed, helps set annual hunting regulations, ensuring the best possible opportunities for both hunting and healthy waterfowl populations.