Waterfowl Species Identification
Many light waterbirds look alike. Federal and state fines and jail time can apply if you shoot at these birds.
(Illustrations not to scale)
- White with black wingtips, red cap and red malar stripe. Juveniles have a mixture of white and brown body feathers, with black wingtips. Necks long, extended straight forward in flight. Wingspan: 7 feet. Legs extend beyond tail in flight. Slow wingbeat. Flocks of 2 to 7, sometimes migrate with sandhill cranes.
- All white. Necks long, extended straight forward in flight. Wingspan more than 6 feet. Short Legs, do not extend beyond tail in flight. Flocks of 2 to 10.
- White with black only on tips of wings. Necks long; slender bill is curved down. Wingspan: 3 feet. Legs extend slightly beyond tail in flight. Fly by flapping and gliding. Found in groups up to about 30.
- Stands four feet tall, dark grayish blue and wingspan of nearly six feet. Necks long, typically folded in flight (extends neck near take-off and landing). Slow wingbeat, Typically found singly or in pairs.
- White, with black tail and black along entire edge of wings. Neck long, extended straight, bare and dark near head; heavy bill curved down. Wingspan: 5 1/2 feet, Long legs extend beyond tail in flight, Flaps slowly, glides and soars. Found singly or in groups of fewer than 10.
- White wings with black edgings extending almost to body. Necks long, folded in flight. Wingspan: 8 feet, Short legs, do not extend beyond tail in flight. Long, yellow bill. Often in flocks of 20 or more.
- An all-white heron with 4 1/2 foot wingspan and bright yellow beak. In flight, the neck is not extended but their black legs extend beyond the tail. Slightly smaller than sandhill cranes when standing.
- Goose-sized with slender body, long neck and slender, hooked bill that is usually tilted up while swimming. Orange throat patch. Dark, nearly totally black body. More rapid wing beat and longer tail than geese.
- White with black wingtips. Wingspan: 3 to 4 feet. Short legs. Rapid wingbeat. Flocks of 20 to hundreds.
- Gray, with dark wingtips; may appear white in some light. Neck long, extended straight forward in flight. Wingspan: 5 feet. Legs extend beyond tail in flight. Slow wingbeat. Flocks of 2 to hundreds.
Great Blue Heron
Double Crested Cormorant