Paddling of Ducks
Aix galericulata The male is a show-stopper with his stunning plumage. Symbolising fidelity, Mandarin pairs were once give as wedding gifts in their native China. In fact, Mandarins change mates every year. Conservation Status: IUCN Least Concern (population decreasing)
Asarcornis scutulata Nicknamed the "spirit duck" because of its secretive nature. Nests in high tree cavities in rain forest canopy so ducklings learn to jump. Conservation Status: IUCN Endangered Due to natural habitat destruction for palm oil plantations, hunting and loss of genetic diversity.
Bucephala albeola The smallest North American sea duck is easily recognised with its "buffalo" head. It nests in woodpecker holes high in the tree canopy but hunts underwater for aquatic insects and fish fry. Conservation Status: IUCN Least Concern Buffleheads are threatened due to trophy hunting in North America. They are difficult to shoot because of their small size and are a popular target in "shoot the most" contests. These contests caused the Passenger Pigeon to become extinct.
Callonetta leucophrys This South American duck has strong pointed claws allowing them to perch in trees. They nest in tree cavities made by Amazon parrots. The ringed teal moves in after the parrots move out. Conservation Status: IUCN Least Concern
Lophodytes cucullatus Native North American punk rockers of the duck world. In courtship, males erect their hoods and display together so females can compare performances. Conservation Status: IUCN Least Concern
Anas laysanensis A survivor. This species was down to a single female sitting on a small clutch of eggs. Each bird has individual facial markings and spots-unique in the duck world. Conservation Status: IUCN Critically Endangered In the early 1900's, rabbits were brought to Laysan Island as a food source. The rabbits ate most of the vegetation and nesting grounds causing the ducks near extinction.
Dendrocygna viduata High-pitched whistlers. When threatened, they let out a piercing cry to startle predators and make their escape. Conservation Status: IUCN Least Concern
Dendrocygna autumnalis Swampy mangrove specialists from South & Central America. Hatch large clutches of chicks due to many predators including snakes, alligators and other birds. Conservation Status: IUCN Least Concern
Somateria mollissima Fastest flyers in the U.K. with a top speed of 60 mph. Thick, strong bills help them rip and pry their favourite food, shellfish from rocks Conservation Status: IUCN Near Threatened Due to overharvesting of aquatic resources and shellfish farming, pollution and hunting.
Chenonetta jubata An evolutionary curiosity-has characteristics of both duck and geese species. They graze which is unusual for ducks and nest in cavities-unheard of in geese. Conservation Status: IUCN Least Concern
Oxyura leucocephala One of Europe's rarest birds. Females lay massive eggs that are 1/4 of her body weight. Conservation Status: IUCN Endangered Due to interbreeding with the North American Ruddy Duck brought to the UK in the 1930's and habitat loss.
Mareca Penelope These estuary specialists feed on seaweed and marine grasses when the tides go out. They can drink both seawater and fresh water. Conservation Status: IUCN Least Concern