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Anatidae – Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl

Mallard in the United States: Photo by Mason Maron

Welcome to our Anatidae guide! Anatidae is a diverse family encompassing ducks, geese, and swans, among others. These waterfowl are found across the globe, inhabiting a wide range of aquatic habitats, from freshwater lakes to coastal estuaries. Known for their striking plumage, distinctive calls, and fascinating behaviors, Anatidae species captivate birdwatchers and enthusiasts alike. Join us as we explore the rich diversity within the Anatidae family, uncovering their habitats, behaviors, and unique adaptations. Whether you’re a seasoned birder or simply intrigued by these charismatic waterfowl, our guides offer valuable insights into the captivating world of Anatidae.

Overview of Anatidae

Recognizable as beloved cartoon characters and stars of TV commercials, waterfowl have been hunted and domesticated for centuries, yet they remain symbols of the untamed wilderness. From shallow coastal bays to the highest and swiftest alpine streams, waterfowl inhabit a vast array of aquatic habitats worldwide, with the exception of the remote pelagic zone of the oceans. While the Northern Hemisphere’s waterfowl are familiar to many, they represent only a fraction of the ancient diversity still present in the Southern Hemisphere. Here, one can find black swans, geese that eschew swimming, and ducks boasting a curious array of bills and appendages. Additionally, the sex lives of ducks are nothing short of captivating, with some males possessing penises as long as their bodies and females equipped with twisted oviducts to match.