Dabbling ducks and Diving duck
Dabbling ducks are usually found around shallow ponds. They feed with just their bill in the water or they “tip up” with the entire head underwater and the rear-end rises up. Dabbling ducks are filter feeders and they sift water through their beaks and capture aquatic (water) insects and plants, seeds, snails, and clams. Dabbling ducks nest within a few hundred feet of water in tall grass. Most dabbling ducks breed in Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota and North Dakota and Manitoba, Canada in what is known as the “prairie pothole” region. This refers to small glacial ponds that dot the prairie states.
Diving ducks totally submerge beneath the water when they are feeding. They dive to the bottom and feed on aquatic plants, seeds, snails, small fish and crustaceans. A duck may mistakenly ingest lead shot that sunk to the bottom after it was fired from a shotgun. Unfortunately, “lead shot poisoning” was a common cause of death in diving ducks. However, lead shot has been outlawed and diving duck populations have rebounded. During the spring migration, divers are seen on permanent ponds and on small lakes. In the winter, they prefer saltwater bays, estuaries, and harbors.
What to do: Click on the “Start” button below to take the Waterfowl Quiz. Read the description of each duck and then guess its name.