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Five white swans with black feet and a black beak in flight in winter
Information icon Tundra swans on the wing at Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by USFWS.

Wildlife profiles

  • Three brown birds swimming on still water
    Information icon American wigeon. Photo by Mike Wintroath, AGFC.

    American wigeon

    American wigeon are a medium-sized dabbling duck, and males have a distinctive white patch on their head that historically gave them the nickname “baldpate.” This species can be aggressive when competing for food and is a highly flexible forager, equally at home stealing food from diving ducks in deep water or grazing on turf grasses in urban areas. Conservation status Low concern. Range American wigeons occur across all four North American flyways, but they are most abundant in the Pacific and Central flyways.  Visit the species profile...

  • A brown and grey duck with a black belly standing at the entrance to a large birdhouse
    Information icon Black-bellied whistling duck. Photo by Stacey Hayden, USFWS.

    Black-bellied whistling duck

    The black-bellied whistling duck is sometimes described as part goose and part duck because of its rather peculiar physical features and behaviors. Like many goose species, black-bellied whistling ducks graze on grasses in upland areas, but they also nest in tree cavities similar to wood ducks. This species is highly gregarious, adaptable to using urban areas, and highly recognizable due to its pink bill and legs. Conservation Status Low concern.  Visit the species profile...

  • Three brown birds with white spots on the edge of their wings standing in water
    Information icon Blue-winged teals. Photo by Clayton Ferrell, USFWS.

    Blue-winged teal

    Blue-winged teal are the second smallest duck in North America and are highly distinctive during flight due to their bright blue wing patch. Populations are highly responsive to wetland conditions in their breeding range; those years with many small temporary wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region typically produce large hatches of this species. Conservation status Low concern. Related content Jul 14, 2014 | 2 minute read Podcasts Duck populations Range These long-distance migrants breed as far north as Alaska and throughout Canada, primarily nesting in the prairies of the central U.  Visit the species profile...

  • A rust colored bird preening in the water.
    Information icon Canvasback. Photo by Clayton Ferrell, USFWS.

    Canvasback

    Canvasback is the largest species of diving duck in North America and is highly recognizable due to the male’s stark white body, contrasting with a deep maroon head and neck. This species has been nicknamed “bull-neck,” and referred to as the aristocrat of ducks. Because of its diving feeding style, it spends most of its time using moderately deep-water marshes and lakes where it roots in the sediment searching for its favorite food, plant tubers from submersed aquatic vegetation.  Visit the species profile...

  • Two splotchy brown birds swimming in a pond
    Information icon A pair of gadwalls. Photo by Stacey Hayden, USFWS.

    Gadwall

    Sometimes known affectionately as the “gray duck” by hunters, gadwall are medium-sized dabbling ducks common across temperate areas worldwide. As their nickname indicates, both males and females have gray-brown to gray plumage that is less flashy than many other species. Conservation status Low concern. Related content Nov 12, 2018 | 2 minute read News Hunting season opens with a bang on Merritt Island Refuge Range Gadwall primarily nest in the Prairie Pothole Region of the north-central United States and Canada and, to a lesser extent, in southern portions of the boreal forest and prairie parklands.  Visit the species profile...

  • A close-up shot of a duck with a dark head and light blue beak
    Information icon Lesser scaup. Photo by Heath Hagy, USFWS.

    Lesser scaup

    The lesser scaup is a medium-bodied diving duck, meaning they feed by diving under the surface of deep water to find their food. Males have a dark emerald to black head and a mostly gray to white body. Females are mostly brown on their body and have a dark brown head with a white patch at the base of the bill. Scaup have evolved a bill structure perfect for catching invertebrates swimming in the water column.  Visit the species profile...

  • Male and female mallard ducks on a lake
    Information icon Mallards at Morris Wetland Management District in Minnesota. Photo by Alex Galt, USFWS.

    Mallard

    Taxon: Anseriformes, Anatidae Range: Mallards occur year-round throughout North America, but most individuals are migratory and breed in the northern United States and Canada and winter in the Southern United States and Mexico. Most of the breeding population occurs in the Prairie Pothole Region of the north-central United States and central Canada. Status: Not listed, low concern – In 2018, the breeding population size exceeded 10 million in the traditional and eastern survey areas of North America.  Visit the species profile...

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