Ornithology/Anseriformes

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Anseriformes is a sub-topic of Ornithology.

Anseriformes is an order containing ducks, geese, and swans.

Anseriformes

The family Anatidae consists of medium-sized to large waterbirds, including ducks, geese, and swans. There are 14 species in this family on the Official Bird List. Most members of this family are distinguished by large, horizontally flattened bills, longs necks, short tales, and webbed feet. They have lammelae in their bills which aids in filter feeding. Young of this family are precocial. These birds have often been used for hunting and food. The feathers are used to stuff beds, pillows, etc.

Ducks

Ducks are a mostly aquatic assemblage of sub-families of Anatidae. Ducks differ from geese and swans in several ways. They are smaller, have shorter necks, exhibit sexual dimorphism, do not exhibit strong pair bonding, and have nostrils placed higher on their bills. Ducks have a structure on the side of their beak that serves as a comb to filter food and aid in preening. Ducks either dabble or dive. Diving ducks swim below the surface to forage. Dabbling ducks feed on the surface of water and stick their heads underwater to collect vegetation near the surface.

Black-bellied Whistling Duck
Image Whistling duck in flight.jpeg
Species Dendrocygna autumnalis
Habitat Freshwater ponds, lakes, and marshes
Diet Plants, seeds, and invertebrates
Conservation LC.png Least concern.
Voice Call











Wood Duck
Image Wood duck.jpg
Species Aix sponsa
Habitat Freshwater ponds, lakes, rivers, and marshes
Diet Seeds, fruits, invertebrates
Conservation LC.png Least concern.
Voice No Required Call











Mallard
Image Mallard.png
Species Anas platyrhynchos
Habitat Freshwater ponds, lakes, and marshes
Diet Plants, arthropods, and aquatic invertebrates
Conservation LC.png Least concern.
Voice Call











Cinnamon Teal
Image Cin teal.jpg
Species Anas cyanoptera
Habitat Wetlands
Diet Plants, seeds, and invertebrates
Conservation LC.png Least concern.
Voice No Required Call











Northern Shoveler
Image Nor show.jpg
Species Anas clypeata
Habitat Shallow wetlands, also freshwater and saline marshes
Diet Small swimming invertebrates, some seeds
Conservation LC.png Least concern.
Voice No Required Call











Green-winged Teal
Image Gwt.png
Species Anas crecca
Habitat Shallow waters and small ponds an pools
Diet Seeds, stems, and leaves
Conservation LC.png Least concern.
Voice No Required Call











Diving Ducks

Diving ducks are similar in appearance to dabbling ducks. However, instead of dabbling they actually dive under water for their food. They belong to the subfamily Aythyinae. They are commonly called pochards and scaups. There is one diving duck on the Science Olympiad bird list.

Canvasback
Image Canvas.png
Species Aythya valisineria
Habitat Prairie potholes
Diet Seeds, buds, leaves, tubers, roots, snails, and insect larvae
Conservation LC.png Least concern.
Voice No Required Call











Geese

Geese are a division of the family Anatidae. They are generally in between the sizes of the other two main groups- they are larger than the ducks, but smaller than the swans. They exhibit strong pair bonding, but unlike most monogamous species, are only territorial during the breeding season. The paired individuals are more dominant and eat more, contributing to them having more offspring. there are two geese on the Science Olympiad bird list.

Snow Goose
Image Snow goose white morph.JPG
Species Chen caerulescens
Habitat Nest in subarctic and arctic, winters in coastal marshes, bays, and wet grasslands.
Diet Water plants, grasses, and grain.
Conservation LC.png Least concern.
Voice No Required Call











Canada Goose
Image Canada goose.jpg
Species Branta canadensis
Habitat Marsh, grassy fields, grain fields
Diet Grasses, sedges, berries, seeds
Conservation LC.png Least concern.
Voice No Required Call











Swans

Swans are the largest of the three types of birds in Anatidae, and are among the largest flying birds. They are much more closely related to geese than ducks, and are grouped with geese in the subfamily Anserinae. They are not sexually dimorphic in plumage, but males are usually larger than females. Their plumage is all white in the Northern Hemisphere, but they can be a mix of black and white in the Southern Hemisphere. They generally live in temperate environments. They are almost entirely herbivorous. Swans mate for life, and may lay 3-8 eggs in a clutch. There is one swan on the Science Olympiad bird list.

Trumpeter Swan
Image Tr swan.jpg
Species Cygnus buccinator
Habitat Shallow ponds and rivers
Diet Aquatic plants
Conservation LC.png Least concern.
Voice Call











Sea Ducks

As their common name implies, the members of the subfamily Merginae are usually marine. Some mergansers prefer river habitats. They usually eat aquatic life. There are 4 sea ducks on the Science Olympiad bird list.

Common Eider
Image CE.png
Species Somateria mollissima
Habitat Ocean, sometimes lagoons and ponds along coast
Diet Aquatic invertebrates, especially mollusks, crustaceans, and sea urchins
Conservation LC.png Least concern.
Voice No Required Call











Surf Scoter
Image SS.png
Species Melanitta perspicillata
Habitat Shallow lakes and ocean waters
Diet Freshwater invertebrates, especially mollusks
Conservation LC.png Least concern.
Voice No Required Call











Long-tailed Duck
Image LTD.png
Species Clangula hyemalis
Habitat Ponds, streams, wetland, and open ocean
Diet Mostly aquatic invertebrates, including insects and crustaceans, with some bivalves and plant matter
Conservation LC.png Least concern.
Voice No Required Call











Hooded Merganser
Image HM.png
Species Lophodytes cucullatus
Habitat Forested wetlands
Diet Fish, aquatic insects, and crustaceans
Conservation LC.png Least concern.
Voice No Required Call