Photographic Identification Guide to Female Ducks / 21 Species

Male ducks in some species are easy to identify:

Wood Duck (male)
Long-tailed Duck (male)
Redhead (male)

This becomes trickier with females. Take the Pekin Duck for example.

Pekin Duck (male)

If the duck has a curled feather at the end of the tail, it is a male.

No curled feather means female.

Pekin Duck (female)

In addition, female Pekins have a loud honk and the males give a quieter quack.

Female and male American Black Ducks also look alike. The difference is that the male has a yellow bill.

American Black Duck (male)
American Black Duck (female)

Here are photos I have taken of 21 species of Ontario female ducks.

GADWALL

Gadwall (female)
Gadwall (female)

MALLARD

Mallard (female)
Mallard (female)

AMERICAN WIGEON

American Wigeon (female)
American Wigeon (female)

WOOD DUCK

Wood Duck (female)
Wood Duck (female)
Wood Duck (female)

NORTHERN SHOVELER

Northern Shoveler (female)
Northern Shoveler (female)

BLUE-WINGED TEAL

Blue-winged Teal (female)
Blue-winged Teal (female)

GREEN-WINGED TEAL

Green-winged Teal (female)
Green-winged Teal (female)

WHITE-WINGED SCOTER

White-winged Scoter (female)
White-winged Scoter (female)

LONG-TAILED DUCK

Long-tailed Duck (female)
Long-tailed Duck (female)
Long-tailed Duck (female)

REDHEAD

Redheads (female)
Redhead (female)
Redhead (female)

RING-NECKED DUCK

Ring-necked Ducks
Ring-necked Ducks

LESSER SCAUP (the differences between Lesser and Greater Scaup are subtle)

Lesser Scaup (female)
Lesser Scaup (female)

GREATER SCAUP

Greater Scaup (female)
Greater Scaup (female

COMMON GOLDENEYE

Common Goldeneye (female)
Common Goldeneye (female)

HARLEQUIN DUCK

Harlequin Duck (female)
Harlequin Duck (female)

BUFFLEHEAD

Bufflehead (female)
Bufflehead (female)
Buffleheads (female)

RUDDY DUCK

Ruddy Duck (female)
Ruddy Duck (female)

COMMON MERGANSER

Common Mergansers (females)
Common Merganser (female)

RED-BREASTED MERGANSER

Red-breasted Merganser (female)
Red-breasted Merganser (female)

HOODED MERGANSER

Hooded Merganser (female)
Hooded Mergansers (female)

NATURE POETRY

She was a Phantom of delight
When first she gleamed upon my sight;
A lovely Apparition – William Wordsworth

Miles Hearn

1 thought on “Photographic Identification Guide to Female Ducks / 21 Species

  1. Ruth Calman

    Great post. Thanks. At this time of year where would the best place be to see the widest variety of ducks and hence to practice female duck identification?:)

    Reply

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