nature.ca The Nature of the Rideau River HomeFrançais
The ProjectHistory and GeographyRiver HealthAnimals and PlantsWater QualityBiodiversityAction!ResourcesTeachers
 
Aquatic Birds

 

Surface-feeding Ducks

Male Mallard, Anas platyrhynchos.
Male Mallard,
Anas platyrhynchos.

Class: Birds
Order: Screamers, Swans, Geese and Ducks
Family: Swan, Geese and Ducks
Subfamily: Ducks
Tribe: Surface-feeding Ducks

Species found in the Rideau River:
Wood Duck, American Wigeon, American Black Duck, Mallard, Green-winged Teal, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail

Female Mallard, Anas platyrhynchos.
Female Mallard,
Anas platyrhynchos.

Characteristics of the family:
Surface-feeding ducks do not dive to find food. Instead, in shallow water they tip over, thereby submerging the head and upper body. They usually have an iridescent patch on the wing.

Interesting facts:
Surface-feeding ducks are able to take off by rising straight up; they do not need to run along the water to take off.


Representative species: Mallard
Description With its green head, white collar and chestnut breast, the male is easily recognized. Females are brown. The white bar on each side of the iridescent wing patch is visible in flight.
Size 50 cm to 70 cm from the tip of the bill to the tip of the tail.
Distribution All of Canada and the United States, and much of Europe and Asia. Winters in those parts of its breeding range where the water does not freeze over, including the Ottawa area.
Habitat Shallow waters: ponds, streams, rivers, marshes and flooded areas. Also feeds on land, particularly in grain fields.
Food Aquatic plants, seeds, grasses, insects, small aquatic animals.
Life cycle Nests in the spring and the female usually lays 8 to12 eggs. Usually, nests on the ground close to water, but at times far from it. Eggs are incubated for 28 days. Males remain near the nest for about 12 days.

 

  Meet the Relatives!  
Arrow.  
Arrow.  
Arrow. Swans, Geese and Ducks  
  
 Aquatic Birds
Arrow.
Arrow.
Arrow.
 Don't Overlook...
Arrow.
Arrow.
Arrow.
Arrow.
A Project of the Canadian Museum of Nature
 Images: Hemera