Category Archives: Duck like birds

Double-crested Cormorant – Phalacrocorax auritus

General: The Double-crested Cormorant is the most numerous and widespread North American cormorant. It can occur in large numbers inland as well as on the coast.

In upstate New York this cormorant has increased in numbers. Twenty years ago it was an infrequent site, nowDouble-crested Cormorant – Phalacrocorax auritus large colonies on the Great Lakes and large inland lakes has led to the concern about their predation on sport fish.

When on the water their bodies, as shown in the picture, are almost entirely submerged. When out of the water and perching they often spread their wings to dry.

The Double-crested Cormorant makes a bulky nest of sticks and other materials. In breeding colonies where the nests are placed on the ground, young cormorants leave their nests and congregate into groups.

The Double-crested cormorant egg is chalky blue. The chicks will hatch in 25-29 days and will fledge in 35-42 days

Double-crested Cormorant – Phalacrocorax auritus Identification: Double-crested Cormorant – Adult Description: They are large, dark bodied water birds – approximately 30″ to 35″. They have a long body and long neck. Double-crested Cormorant has a medium-sized bill hooked at tip. The throat pouch area is orange, extending straight down across throat. It does have tufts on the top of its head – although not always evident.

Immature Description – Upper breast and throat pale. Chest variable from nearly whitish to dusky.

Habitat: Found in diverse aquatic habitats, such as ponds, lakes, rivers, lagoons, estuaries, and open coastline; more widespread in winter – always open water.

Territory: The Double-crested Cormorant breeds from Alaska to Newfoundland down to Mexico. It winters as far north as Long Island, NY and Southern Alaska.

Food: Predominantly fish. Also some other aquatic animals, insects, and amphibians. The Double-crested cormorant is a Diving water bird. It chases prey underwater grabbing prey in its bill.

Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter
The Audubon Society – Field Guide to North American Birds (Eastern Region)
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Green-Winged Teal – Anas crecca

General: Green-Winged Teal, also known as the Common Teal, are the smallest of all North American puddle ducks with a short neck and small bill. They are a popular game bird. They are considered a challenging game bird, often swooping in to a decoy raft only to rise and fly off before a shot can be made. Green-Winged Teal
The Green-winged Teal population is steady and /or growing.

They nest near water, either in grasses or brush. The eggs are creamy white. The chicks hatch in about 21 – 23 days and can leave the nest soon after they hatch. They fledge in about another 34 days.
The meat of Green-Winged Teal is considered good to eat and mild in flavor.

Identification: General: As stated the Green-Winged teal is a small duck. They are about 12″ – 16″ long with a Wingspan of 24″, short-necked and small-billed.

Males: Alternate plumage worn from Fall through early summer, dark bill with a rich rust-colored head. Green-Winged TealIridescent green face patch sweeping through eye and tapering to the back of head. Chest is buff with dark spotting. The flanks are gray and back Vertical white line at fore part of flanks. Horizontal black line above flanks, buff outer under-tail coverts bordered by black. The central under-tail coverts are black.

Females & Juveniles: Dark gray bill, pale brown head and neck, dark brown cap and eye line. Dark brown back and upper wing coverts scalloped with buff, breast is white spotted with brown, the belly is white.

Habitat: Green-Winged Teal are found more commonly in marshes, ponds and marshy lakes.

Territory: The Green-Winged Teal’s northern range is from Northern Alaska and Aleutian Islands to Quebec south to New York and prairie states. They winter as far south as Central America and the west Indies.

Diet: Green-winged teal feed on seeds of sedges, smartweeds, pondweeds agricultural crops and grasses. To a lesser extent they eat aquatic insects, mollusks, crustaceans

Wood Duck

General: The Wood Duck is a species of duck found in North America and a popular game bird. The Wood Wood Duck (Carolina Duck) – Aix sponsaDuck is one of the most beautiful American ducks. It is second only to the Mallard in numbers shot each year in the United States.

The population of the Wood Duck was in serious decline in the late 19th century as a result of severe habitat loss and market hunting both for meat and plumage for the ladies’ hat market in Europe. By ending unregulated hunting and taking measures to protect remaining habitat, wood duck populations began to rebound in the 1920s. Wood Duck populations are stable today.

Wood Ducks nest in trees near water, sometimes directly over water, but other times up to 1 mile away. After hatching the ducklings jump down from the nest tree, from heights of up to 50 ft without injury and make their way to water. The mother does not help them in any way.

Wood Duck eggs are creamy white. Chicks hatch in 28-37 days and in one day are able to leave the nest in one day. They fledge in 56-70 days

Identification: The Wood Duck is about 19″ in length with an average wingspan of 29″, about 3/4 that of a Mallard.

Male wood ducks have a crested head that is iridescent green and purple with a white stripe leading from the eye to the end of the crest, and another narrower white stripe from the base of the bill to the tip of the crest. The throat is white and the chest is burgundy with white flecks, gradually grading into a white belly. The bill is brightly patterned black, white and red.
Female wood ducks have a gray-brown head and neck with a brownish, green, glossed crest. A white teardrop shaped patch surrounds the brownish-black eye. The throat is white and the breast is gray-brown stippled with white, fading into the white belly. The back is olive brown with a shimmer of iridescent green. The bill is blue-gray and the legs and feet are dull grayish-yellow.

Habitat: Found in forested wetlands, including along rivers, swamps, marshes, ponds, and lakes.
Territory: Two main territories – British Columbia south to Washington. Winters south into California,. East – Minnisota to Nova Scotia South south to Florida and Texas. Winters as far north as New Jersey.
Food: Seeds, acorns, fruits, aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates. The Wood Duck dabbles on water surface, it may tip-up or dive for submerged food items.

Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter
The Audubon Society – Field Guide to North American Birds (Eastern Region)
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Cornell Lab of Ornithology