Different types of ducks

What are the different types of ducks?

The different types of ducks include: dabbling ducks, diving ducks, eiders, perching ducks, stifftails, and whistling ducks.


Dabbling ducks, or dabblers, are ducks that tip up – head down bottom up – in order to forage in shallow water and mud in search of plants and insects. They rarely dive below the water. They are found worldwide. The most common dabbling ducks are the Mallards, Northern Pintails, American Wigeons, and Teals.


Diving ducks, or divers, are ducks that dive under the water for food. They are found in rivers and lakes, or in estuaries, in the Northern Hemisphere. Diving ducks include Pochards, Goldeneyes, Scoters, Eiders, and Scaups. They are also called sea ducks.

African Comb Duck
Australian Wood Duck

Perching ducks are ducks that nest in trees. The most common perching ducks are Comb Ducks, Teals, and Wood Ducks.

Muscovy Duck

Eider ducks are large, coastal sea ducks. They dive for food. They are found in the cold climate countries of northern Europe and northern America. Their soft down feathers – called eiderdown – are sometimes used to fill pillows and quilts. They include the Spectacled Eider, the King Eider, and the Muscovy Duck.

Stifftail ducks, or stiff-tailed ducks, have a short tail that sticks up. They are freshwater diving ducks. The most common stifftail ducks are the Ruddy Duck, the Blue-Billed Duck, and the Andean Duck.

White-Faced Whistling Duck

Whistling ducks are tree ducks found in tropical and sub-tropical locations. The most common whistling ducks are the Fulvous Whistling Duck, the Black-Bellied Whistling Duck, and the White-Faced Whistling Duck.

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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