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Free Quiz Dabbling Ducks of BC CORE Hunter Education Course

Can you identify this duck?

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. The legs and feet are a dull straw yellow and the iris is red. Female wood ducks have a grey-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 grey-brown stippled with white, fading into the white belly. The back is olive-brown with a shimmer of iridescent green. The bill is blue-grey and the legs and feet are dull greyish-yellow.

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. The legs and feet are a dull straw yellow and the iris is red. Female wood ducks have a grey-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 grey-brown stippled with white, fading into the white belly. The back is olive-brown with a shimmer of iridescent green. The bill is blue-grey and the legs and feet are dull greyish-yellow.

Can you identify this duck?

Male blue-winged teal has a slate grey head and neck, a black-edged white crescent in front of the eyes and a blackish crown. The breast and sides are tan with dark brown speckles and there is a white spot on the side of the rump. Most of the upper wing coverts are blue-grey, the secondaries form an iridescent green speculum and the underwing is whitish. The bill is black and the legs and feet are yellowish to orange. Female blue-winged teal has a brownish-grey head with a darker crown and eye stripe. The breast and sides are brown, the upper parts are olive brown, and the upper wing coverts are bluish but less vibrant than the drake. The bill is grey-black and the legs and feet are dull yellow-brown. The female has a high-pitched squeak.

Male blue-winged teal has a slate grey head and neck, a black-edged white crescent in front of the eyes and a blackish crown. The breast and sides are tan with dark brown speckles and there is a white spot on the side of the rump. Most of the upper wing coverts are blue-grey, the secondaries form an iridescent green speculum and the underwing is whitish. The bill is black and the legs and feet are yellowish to orange. Female blue-winged teal has a brownish-grey head with a darker crown and eye stripe. The breast and sides are brown, the upper parts are olive brown, and the upper wing coverts are bluish but less vibrant than the drake. The bill is grey-black and the legs and feet are dull yellow-brown. The female has a high-pitched squeak.

Can you identify this duck?

Both males and females have a bluish-black-tipped bill. Male American wigeons have a white patch from the forehead to the middle of the crown and an iridescent green band from the eye to the back of the head. They have pinkish-brown breasts and sides that are separated from the black under-tail coverts by white flank feathers. In flight, the white shoulder patch is diagnostic. The legs and feet are blue-grey to dark grey. Female American wigeons have a grey head with a brownish-black crown and brownish chest and sides. The legs and feet are blue-grey to dark grey.

Both males and females have a bluish-black-tipped bill. Male American wigeons have a white patch from the forehead to the middle of the crown and an iridescent green band from the eye to the back of the head. They have pinkish-brown breasts and sides that are separated from the black under-tail coverts by white flank feathers. In flight, the white shoulder patch is diagnostic. The legs and feet are blue-grey to dark grey. Female American wigeons have a grey head with a brownish-black crown and brownish chest and sides. The legs and feet are blue-grey to dark grey.

Can you identify this duck?

Eurasian wigeons often can be found in the company of American Wigeons. The male’s bright russet-red head, topped with a cream stripe, and its grey back and sides, distinguish it from its American cousin. Females of the two species are so similar that separation in the field is unreliable. However, adult female Eurasian wigeons have two colour phases: grey and red. Females in reddish plumage have russet-brown heads, necks, chests, backs, sides and flanks, with a much redder tinge than female American wigeons. Male Eurasian Wigeon has a black-speckled russet-red neck and head topped with a cream stripe. The breast is greyish-pink and the lower breast, belly and sides of the rear body behind the flanks are white. The flanks are finely vermiculated and appear grey. In flight, a white shoulder patch and green speculum are displayed. The bill is blue-grey with a black tip and the legs and feet are blue-grey. Female Eurasian wigeon has grey-brown-to-russet-brown heads, necks, chests, backs, sides and flanks. The bill is blue-grey with a black tip and the legs and feet are blue-grey.

Eurasian wigeons often can be found in the company of American Wigeons. The male’s bright russet-red head, topped with a cream stripe, and its grey back and sides, distinguish it from its American cousin. Females of the two species are so similar that separation in the field is unreliable. However, adult female Eurasian wigeons have two colour phases: grey and red. Females in reddish plumage have russet-brown heads, necks, chests, backs, sides and flanks, with a much redder tinge than female American wigeons. Male Eurasian Wigeon has a black-speckled russet-red neck and head topped with a cream stripe. The breast is greyish-pink and the lower breast, belly and sides of the rear body behind the flanks are white. The flanks are finely vermiculated and appear grey. In flight, a white shoulder patch and green speculum are displayed. The bill is blue-grey with a black tip and the legs and feet are blue-grey. Female Eurasian wigeon has grey-brown-to-russet-brown heads, necks, chests, backs, sides and flanks. The bill is blue-grey with a black tip and the legs and feet are blue-grey.

Can you identify this duck?

The Mallard is one of the most recognized of all ducks and is the ancestor of several domestic breeds. Its wide range has given rise to several distinct populations. The male mallard’s white neck ring separates the green head from the chestnut-brown chest, and contrasts with the grey sides, brownish back, black rump and black upper- and under-tail coverts. The speculum is violet-blue bordered by black and white, and the outer tail feathers are white. The bill is yellow to yellowish-green and the legs and feet are coral-red. The female mallard is a mottled brownish colour and has a violet speculum bordered by black and white. The crown of the head is dark brown with a dark brown stripe running through the eye. The remainder of the head is a lighter brown than the upper body. The bill is orange splotched with brown, and the legs and feet are orange.

The Mallard is one of the most recognized of all ducks and is the ancestor of several domestic breeds. Its wide range has given rise to several distinct populations. The male mallard’s white neck ring separates the green head from the chestnut-brown chest, and contrasts with the grey sides, brownish back, black rump and black upper- and under-tail coverts. The speculum is violet-blue bordered by black and white, and the outer tail feathers are white. The bill is yellow to yellowish-green and the legs and feet are coral-red. The female mallard is a mottled brownish colour and has a violet speculum bordered by black and white. The crown of the head is dark brown with a dark brown stripe running through the eye. The remainder of the head is a lighter brown than the upper body. The bill is orange splotched with brown, and the legs and feet are orange.

Can you identify this duck?

Male cinnamon teal has a cinnamon-red head, neck, breast and belly. They have an iridescent green speculum, which is separated from a bluish shoulder patch by a white stripe. The back, rump, upper tail coverts and tail are a dull brown and the undertail coverts are black. They have distinctive red eyes, a black bill and yellow legs and feet. Female cinnamon teal is often confused with female blue-winged teal. They have a duller blue shoulder patch, an overall rustier colour and are more heavily streaked.

Male cinnamon teal has a cinnamon-red head, neck, breast and belly. They have an iridescent green speculum, which is separated from a bluish shoulder patch by a white stripe. The back, rump, upper tail coverts and tail are a dull brown and the undertail coverts are black. They have distinctive red eyes, a black bill and yellow legs and feet. Female cinnamon teal is often confused with female blue-winged teal. They have a duller blue shoulder patch, an overall rustier colour and are more heavily streaked.

Can you identify this duck?

Northern pintails are long, slender ducks with long, narrow wings, earning them the nickname “greyhound of the air.” Pintails are named for their elongated central tail feathers, which constitute one-fourth of the drake’s body length. Male northern pintails have a chocolate-brown head with a white stripe on each side of the neck extending up from the white breast and belly. The back is blackish-grey and the rump has a white patch on each side. Two of the long central tail feathers are black while the others are gray margined by white. In flight, an iridescent greenish-black speculum is displayed. The bill is blue-grey with a black stripe along the centre to the tip, and the legs and feet are slate-grey. Female northern pintails have a dark-brown upper body with a buff or grey head and lower body. The speculum is a dull brown or bronze. The bill is blue-grey blotched with black, and the legs and feet are slate-grey.

Northern pintails are long, slender ducks with long, narrow wings, earning them the nickname “greyhound of the air.” Pintails are named for their elongated central tail feathers, which constitute one-fourth of the drake’s body length. Male northern pintails have a chocolate-brown head with a white stripe on each side of the neck extending up from the white breast and belly. The back is blackish-grey and the rump has a white patch on each side. Two of the long central tail feathers are black while the others are gray margined by white. In flight, an iridescent greenish-black speculum is displayed. The bill is blue-grey with a black stripe along the centre to the tip, and the legs and feet are slate-grey. Female northern pintails have a dark-brown upper body with a buff or grey head and lower body. The speculum is a dull brown or bronze. The bill is blue-grey blotched with black, and the legs and feet are slate-grey.

Can you identify this duck?

American black ducks are similar to mallards in size, and resemble the female mallard in colouration, though the black duck’s plumage is darker. The male and female black ducks are similar in appearance, but the male’s bill is yellow while the female’s is dull green. The head is a slightly lighter brown than the dark brown body, and the speculum is iridescent violet-blue with predominantly black margins. In flight, the white underwings can be seen in contrast to the dark brown body.

American black ducks are similar to mallards in size, and resemble the female mallard in colouration, though the black duck’s plumage is darker. The male and female black ducks are similar in appearance, but the male’s bill is yellow while the female’s is dull green. The head is a slightly lighter brown than the dark brown body, and the speculum is iridescent violet-blue with predominantly black margins. In flight, the white underwings can be seen in contrast to the dark brown body.

Can you identify this duck?

Green-winged teal is the smallest of our North American dabbling ducks with a short neck and small bill. Male green-winged teal has a chestnut head with an iridescent green to purple patch extending from the eyes to the nape of the neck. The chest is pinkish-brown with black speckles, and the back, sides and flanks are vermiculated greys, separated from the chest by a white bar. The wing coverts are brownish-grey with a green speculum. The bill is dark slate and the legs and feet are dark greys. Female green-winged teal is mottled brown with a dark brown line that extends from the bill through the eye. The bill is dark grey and the legs and feet are olive-grey to brownish-grey.

Green-winged teal is the smallest of our North American dabbling ducks with a short neck and small bill. Male green-winged teal has a chestnut head with an iridescent green to purple patch extending from the eyes to the nape of the neck. The chest is pinkish-brown with black speckles, and the back, sides and flanks are vermiculated greys, separated from the chest by a white bar. The wing coverts are brownish-grey with a green speculum. The bill is dark slate and the legs and feet are dark greys. Female green-winged teal is mottled brown with a dark brown line that extends from the bill through the eye. The bill is dark grey and the legs and feet are olive-grey to brownish-grey.

Can you identify this duck?

Gadwalls are medium-sized ducks characterized by a general lack of bright colouration. Male gadwalls are grey-brown with a white belly and a black rump. In flight, a white speculum and chestnut and black portions on the wing coverts are displayed. The bill is slate-grey and the legs and feet are yellow. Female gadwalls are similar to males but have a mottled brown appearance, a yellowish bill with dark spots and a smaller white speculum.

Gadwalls are medium-sized ducks characterized by a general lack of bright colouration. Male gadwalls are grey-brown with a white belly and a black rump. In flight, a white speculum and chestnut and black portions on the wing coverts are displayed. The bill is slate-grey and the legs and feet are yellow. Female gadwalls are similar to males but have a mottled brown appearance, a yellowish bill with dark spots and a smaller white speculum.