Ducks, an animal that we are used to seeing at lakes, ponds and even crossing the road. These aquatic birds can usually be found around swamps, oceans, rivers, ponds, and lakes. All ducks can live wherever there is water and on every continent except Antarctica.
In addition, ducks belong to the same family as geese and show wide interspecies variation. Some stand out because of their stunning fur, uniquely shaped beaks, or calls that are able to grab people’s attention.
1. King Eider (Somateria spectabilis)
This unique duck lives along the Arctic coast of the northern hemisphere in Europe, North America and Asia. The King Eider duck has a body size of 50 to 70 cm in length and weighs 1.6 kg. They are able to form large flocks in suitable coastal waters, with some groups exceeding 100,000 birds.
Furthermore, King Eider ducks can dive as deep as 180 feet to feed on marine life.
2. Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata)
These brightly colored ducks are native to East Asia. However, now you can find them in England, Ireland, and California. In history, Mandarin ducks were captured and escaped that caused extensive breeding. The male Mandarin duck is highly admired, as it has brightly colored fur and a pink beak.
Right now, Mandarin Ducks are facing population decline in Asia due to widespread logging activities and have lost habitat. These ducks have managed to avoid hunters because they are known to have a bad taste. This species has been the subject of art, poetry and other Oriental literary forms for centuries. In ancient literature, they were known as symbols of marital fidelity, largely due to the strong bond of their spouses.
3. Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)
The Wood Duck is the cousin of Mandarin Duck. You can identify both of them easily by just looking at their color and pattern. This is one of the most colorful species of ducks in North America. As listed above, it also experienced a serious decline and almost became extinct in the late 19th century due to poaching and the loss of large trees where it nestled. Forest conservation efforts, including the preservation of its habitat, namely providing thousands of nest boxes as well as curbing widespread hunting, have brought the population of this species back to normal.
4. Baikal Teal (Anas formosa)
Baikal Teal duck also has a pretty interesting appearance, as well. From the green color pattern on the back of the male’s head to the golden yellow feathers that adorn his body. This species stands out from other teal species with its unique green and yellow facial pattern. It is native to east Asia, as well as in Alaska.
5. Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus)
Hooded Merganser gets its name from the top of its foldable head. Both males and females have it and can develop it. However, only males have bright black and white markings. Males will perform head -shaking stunts when trying to attract females during the mating season. These small ducks can be found in ponds and in rivers.
6. Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata)
Surf Scoter has another name, “skunk-head coot” or “old skunkhead.” This is because of it’s unique black-and-white pattern from other species. The pattern and shape of its body resembles that of a harlequin duck, as well as an Eider Duck. It can be found in the Pacific coastal waters of North America and the Atlantic. You can find this group of species in abundance in the summer. After nesting or mating, a female will migrate to southeastern Alaska, Puget Sound in Washington, Quebec, or New Brunswick. Upon reaching it’s destination, the feathers will fall out and it will lose the ability to fly.
7. Spectacled Eider (Somateria fischeri)
Another Eider Species with a distinctive face is the Spectacular Eider. The pale green feathers on the back of his head and the clear masculine orange color help exaggerate the more spectacular eye marks. These beautiful ducks are found on the coasts of Alaska and Siberia. Also they can be found nesting in the tundra during the summer. This species is not very famous or common. The population of western Alaska has declined by 96 percent since the 1970s.
Its wintering area was recently discovered in the unbroken ocean of ice between St. Lawrence and the St. Matthew Islands in the Bering sea.
8. Smew Duck (Mergellus albellus)
It is another species of Merganser, which you can find in Europe and Asia. As for appearance, a male has snow white feathers combined with black on the wings and chest. It has black eye marking, like a panda and also a black line on the top of their head. They use woodpecker holes to raise their children.
9. Long -Tailed Duck (Clangula hyemalis)
This species is able to defeat the King Eider with its ability to dive as deep as 200 feet, in the sea in search of food. If you want to know it is able to spend the day looking for food underwater. What is the function of a long tail? This is actually a characteristic of a male who has two long tail feathers and a female without these tail feathers.
10. Harlequin Duck (Histrionicus histrionicus)
Not all ducks have greatness like this species. It can be found diving to capture aquatic life in fast -moving mountain waters, rivers, rocky beaches, and even water pools. Males have a unique fur pattern with a chestnut brown appearance and a cast of white spots on the head and body.