Water Birds:- Ducks, swans and geese, herons and egrets, sandpiper and similar types, pelicans, and so forth are considered water birds. They inhabit coasts, islands, bays, lakes, rivers, ponds, marshes, swamps, and other wetlands.
They feed on aquatic life (plants or animals) and some species also diet on insects, mice, or seeds.
Their appearance and nesting practices are as diverse as the environments in which they live. Commonly, water birds will gather in flocks and sometimes share in hunting.
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Water Birds Species
1. Canada Geese
This bird contributes to popular sporting games, outerwear, and bedding made of their feathers. They are indigenous to North America about the wetlands – lakes, bays, rivers, and marshes – and feed upon aquatic plants and food from mud and silt.
They also feed in open fields and grasslands. A large long neck, black bill, white throat patch extending up to the cheek, brown back (wings and flank), white underbelly, and the distinctive “honk” distinguishes the Canadian Goose.
Cranes inhabit wetlands and grasslands on all non-polar continents. Their species numbers are diverse with Sandhill Cranes numbering 500,000 to Whooping Cranes numbering 350.
Although they can be dangerously aggressive, a complex system of posturing and vocalization allows rivals to resolve fights before engaging. Other vocalizations are notable like the carefully orchestrated duet among mated pairs.
Cranes fly up to 52 miles per hour at heights as great as 20,000 feet, however, preferably under 5,000 feet.
Ducks inhabit wetland areas and are the largest group of waterfowl. Ducks have a smaller body size, shorter neck, and narrower, more pointed wings which they beat more rapidly than Swans or Geese.
Male ducks are typically more colorful and sound different than females. There are Dabbling ducks: American Black, Laysan teal (endangered,) mallard, Perching ducks: Mandarin, Maned goose, and wood duck, and Pochard ducks: Canvas black, Red Crested, Ring-necked, and the Rosy billed.
Goose can be found everywhere. They are but the most popular species of poultry, and there are many breeds and varieties.
Most domestic Geese are descendants of wild species, such as the wild Greylag geese and the Swan geese, whose gene is contained in the pools of African and Chinese domestic geese. Geese cannot fly, but they can clear high fencings. Clutches average 5-12 eggs, incubation lasts 30 days.
5. Mallard duck
Common to North American waters, Mallard ducks are dabbling ducks. They feed on the water surfaces by swimming and dipping their heads under water.
In addition to aquatic life, they eat various seeds. Mallards are grayish-brownish-tan ducks with yellow bills, gray wings, whitetails, and black undertail.
Drakes (males) have green heads, white-banded necks, and purplish breasts. Females are mottled brown and tan, with an orange bill and black central patch; they are smaller than males.
Notorious for their long scooping beaks, Pelicans gulp water and strain out liquids and eat the aquatic animals.
Depending upon the subspecies, Pelicans will either plunge dive for fish or will group fish by forming lines and herding schools of fish into shallows.
These larger heavier birds are impressive in flight as their contrasting black and white awkwardly presses the sky. Loss of habitat endangers Dalmation of Eurasia and Spot-billed of southeast Asia; they are endangered.
7. Roseate Spoonbill
The Roseate Spoonbill is a large wading migratory bird. It breeds in South America, the Caribbean, and the Gulf Coast of the USA.
These birds are long-legged, long-necked, and have a long, spatula-shaped bill. Their plumage is deep pink. The Roseate Spoonbill feeds on fish and frogs.
Imbedded in ancient mythology and legends worldwide is the large, very beautiful swan.
Noted for their long graceful S-shaped necks, the swans simply place their chins on the pond bottoms and feed on aquatic vegetation, but leaves a floating mess that aids ducks and other birds to feed upon.
Some species have been known to migrate great distances up to 2,000 miles, generally preferring night travel. Swans’ lifespan exceeds 20 years (50 in captivity.)
9. Wood Ducks
Wood Ducks can be found in North America on the east coast all the way north to south. They live and reproduce in richly vegetated areas near water bodies.
Wood Ducks are small to medium-sized, males measuring 48-54 cm long, and females being 47-51 cm long. Males have iridescent green, purple and blue heads, two parallel white strips running from the bill and to the back of the head. Females have white eye-rings.