Ornithology/Anseriformes

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<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
Whistling duck in flight.jpeg
Species Dendrocygna autumnalis
Habitat Freshwater ponds, lakes, and marshes
Diet Plants, seeds, and invertebrates
Call Link
Conservation
Status iucn3.1 LC.svg
Least concern
Wood Duck
Wood duck.jpg
Species Aix sponsa
Habitat Freshwater ponds, lakes, rivers, and marshes
Diet Seeds, fruits, invertebrates
Conservation
Status iucn3.1 LC.svg
Least concern
Mallard
Mallard.png
Species Anas platyrhynchos
Habitat Freshwater ponds, lakes, and marshes
Diet Plants, arthropods, and aquatic invertebrates
Call Link
Conservation
Status iucn3.1 LC.svg
Least concern
Cinnamon Teal
Cin teal.jpg
Species Anas cyanoptera
Habitat Wetlands
Diet Plants, seeds, and invertebrates
Conservation
Status iucn3.1 LC.svg
Least concern
Northern Shoveler
Nor show.jpg
Species Anas clypeata
Habitat Shallow wetlands, also freshwater and saline marshes
Diet Small swimming invertebrates, some seeds
Conservation
Status iucn3.1 LC.svg
Least concern
Green-winged Teal
Gwt.png
Species Anas crecca
Habitat Shallow waters and small ponds an pools
Diet Seeds, stems, and leaves
Conservation
Status iucn3.1 LC.svg
Least concern

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.

Snow Goose
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
Status iucn3.1 LC.svg
Least concern
Canada Goose
Canada goose.jpg
Species Branta canadensis
Habitat Marsh, grassy fields, grain fields
Diet Grasses, sedges, berries, seeds
Conservation
Status iucn3.1 LC.svg
Least concern

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
Tr swan.jpg
Species Cygnus buccinator
Habitat Shallow ponds and rivers
Diet Aquatic plants
Call Link
Conservation
Status iucn3.1 LC.svg
Least concern