Papers in the Biological Sciences


Date of this Version



In Ducks, Geese, and Swans of the World, by Paul A. Johnsgard. Electronic edition copyright © 2010 Paul A. Johnsgard.


Blue Duck ● Salvadori Duck ● African Black Duck ● Eurasian Wigeon ● American Wigeon ● Chiloe Wigeon ● Falcated Duck ● Gadwall ● Baikal Teal ● Green-winged Teal ● Speckled Teal ● Cape Teal ● Madagascan Teal ● Gray Teal ● Chestnut Teal ● Brown Teal ● Mallard ● North American Black Duck ● Meller Duck ● Yellow-billed Duck ● Gray Duck ● Philippine Duck ● Bronze-winged Duck ● Crested Duck ● Pintail ● Brown Pintail ● White-cheeked Pintail ● Red-billed Pintail ● Silver Teal ● Hottentot Teal ● Garganey ● Blue-winged Teal ● Cinnamon Teal ● Red Shoveler ● Cape Shoveler ● Australasian Shoveler ● Northern Shoveler ● Pink-eared Duck ● Marbled Teal

The dabbling, or surface-feeding, ducks are, to judge from the number and abundance of the included species, the most successful of all waterfowl. This tribe includes all of the "puddle ducks" that constitute most of the important game species throughout the world. Of the 39 species making up the tribe, all but 3 can readily be placed in the single genus Anas. The tribe has a worldwide distribution, with some of the species occurring on several continents and having extensive transcontinental migration patterns. However, most of the species are temperate-breeding forms and are generally adapted to shallow, marshy habitats where food can be obtained from near the surface by dabbling or tipping-up. In most species the males have fairly elaborate and colorful breeding plumages, whereas the ground-nesting females are mostly cryptically patterned with buff and brown. In nearly all species both sexes have iridescent wing speculum markings, and in all species the trachea has an enlarged bulla at the syrinx. Pair bonds are generally reformed each year during the nonbreeding season, but in some species with long breeding seasons the pair bonds are relatively permanent and the males remain with their offspring and help to protect them.

Included in

Ornithology Commons