Bird Family: Anatidae (Ducks and Geese)

Total species: 174

Brazilian Teal (Amazonetta brasiliensis) in São Paulo, Brazil

The family Anatidae is made up of ducks and geese. The only confusing exception is the Magpie Goose (Anseranas semipalmata), which is actually in its own family but in the same order Anseriformes. I can’t even remember the first time I saw a duck, except that it was almost surely the Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos).

American Black Duck (Anas rubripes) in Ottawa, Canada

Ducks and geese are pretty much found all over the world. The are waterbirds and are often swimming, having specialized feet for this purpose.

Difference between ducks and geese

Ducks and geese have distinct appearances and it is easy to tell one from the other despite both being in the same family. Compared to ducks, geese have more neck bones and longer necks, larger bodies, and are more likely to be seen on land walking around.

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) in Ottawa, Canada


Anatidae contains a large number of hybrids, perhaps larger than most other families of birds. Many of these hybrids are even fertile, such as the one between the Mallard and the American Black Duck.


Despite species like the Canada Goose and American Black Duck being very common, there are other species that are at risk. For example, the Hawaiian Goose is vulnerable due to its small population and range. It faces risks of habitat loss and predation. The White-winged Duck of southeast Asia has a very small population of about 450 and is declining. Its threats are deforestation and the draining of wetlands.

Complete list of species

  1. Spotted Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna guttata)
  2. Plumed Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna eytoni)
  3. White-faced Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna viduata)
  4. Black-bellied Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis)
  5. West Indian Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna arborea)
  6. Fulvous Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna bicolor)
  7. Wandering Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna arcuata)
  8. Lesser Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna javanica)
  9. White-backed Duck (Thalassornis leuconotus)
  10. Bar-headed Goose (Anser indicus)
  11. Emperor Goose (Anser canagicus)
  12. Snow Goose (Anser caerulescens)
  13. Ross’s Goose (Anser rossii)
  14. Graylag Goose (Anser anser)
  15. Swan Goose (Anser cygnoides)
  16. Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons)
  17. Lesser White-fronted Goose (Anser erythropus)
  18. Taiga Bean-Goose (Anser fabalis)
  19. Tundra Bean-Goose (Anser serrirostris)
  20. Pink-footed Goose (Anser chyrhynchus)
  21. Brant (Branta bernicla)
  22. Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis)
  23. Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii)
  24. Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)
  25. Hawaiian Goose (Branta sandvicensis)
  26. Red-breasted Goose (Branta ruficollis)
  27. Cape Barren Goose (Cereopsis novaehollandiae)
  28. Freckled Duck (Stictonetta naevosa)
  29. Blue-winged Goose (Cyanochen cyanoptera)
  30. Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
  31. Black Swan (Cygnus atratus)
  32. Black-necked Swan (Cygnus melancoryphus)
  33. Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator)
  34. Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus)
  35. Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus)
  36. Coscoroba Swan (Coscoroba coscoroba)
  37. Knob-billed Duck (Sarkidiornis melanotos)
  38. Comb Duck (Sarkidiornis sylvicola)
  39. Hartlaub’s Duck (Pteronetta hartlaubii)
  40. Orinoco Goose (Oressochen jubatus)
  41. Andean Goose (Oressochen melanopterus)
  42. Upland Goose (Chloephaga picta)
  43. Kelp Goose (Chloephaga hybrida)
  44. Ashy-headed Goose (Chloephaga poliocephala)
  45. Ruddy-headed Goose (Chloephaga rubidiceps)
  46. Radjah Shelduck (Radjah radjah)
  47. Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
  48. Mauritius Shelduck (Alopochen mauritiana)
  49. Reunion Shelduck (Alopochen kervazoi)
  50. Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea)
  51. South African Shelduck (Tadorna cana)
  52. Australian Shelduck (Tadorna tadornoides)
  53. Paradise Shelduck (Tadorna variegata)
  54. Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
  55. Crested Shelduck (Tadorna cristata)
  56. Spur-winged Goose (Plectropterus gambensis)
  57. Flying Steamer-Duck (Tachyeres patachonicus)
  58. Flightless Steamer-Duck (Tachyeres pteneres)
  59. Falkland Steamer-Duck (Tachyeres brachypterus)
  60. White-headed Steamer-Duck (Tachyeres leucocephalus)
  61. Crested Duck (Lophonetta specularioides)
  62. Spectacled Duck (Speculanas specularis)
  63. Muscovy Duck (Cairina moschata)
  64. Green Pygmy-Goose (Nettapus pulchellus)
  65. Cotton Pygmy-Goose (Nettapus coromandelianus)
  66. African Pygmy-Goose (Nettapus auritus)
  67. Ringed Teal (Callonetta leucophrys)
  68. Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)
  69. Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata)
  70. Maned Duck (Chenonetta jubata)
  71. Finsch’s Duck (Chenonetta finschi)
  72. Brazilian Teal (Amazonetta brasiliensis)
  73. Blue Duck (Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos)
  74. Torrent Duck (Merganetta armata)
  75. Salvadori’s Teal (Salvadorina waigiuensis)
  76. Baikal Teal (Sibirionetta formosa)
  77. Garganey (Spatula querquedula)
  78. Blue-billed Teal (Spatula hottentota)
  79. Silver Teal (Spatula versicolor)
  80. Puna Teal (Spatula puna)
  81. Blue-winged Teal (Spatula discors)
  82. Cinnamon Teal (Spatula cyanoptera)
  83. Red Shoveler (Spatula platalea)
  84. Cape Shoveler (Spatula smithii)
  85. Australasian Shoveler (Spatula rhynchotis)
  86. Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)
  87. Gadwall (Mareca strepera)
  88. Falcated Duck (Mareca falcata)
  89. Eurasian Wigeon (Mareca penelope)
  90. American Wigeon (Mareca americana)
  91. Chiloe Wigeon (Mareca sibilatrix)
  92. Amsterdam Duck (Mareca marecula)
  93. African Black Duck (Anas sparsa)
  94. Yellow-billed Duck (Anas undulata)
  95. Meller’s Duck (Anas melleri)
  96. Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa)
  97. Laysan Duck (Anas laysanensis)
  98. Hawaiian Duck (Anas wyvilliana)
  99. Philippine Duck (Anas luzonica)
  100. Indian Spot-billed Duck (Anas poecilorhyncha)
  101. Eastern Spot-billed Duck (Anas zonorhyncha)
  102. Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
  103. Mexican Duck (Anas diazi)
  104. American Black Duck (Anas rubripes)
  105. Mottled Duck (Anas fulvigula)
  106. Cape Teal (Anas capensis)
  107. White-cheeked Pintail (Anas bahamensis)
  108. Red-billed Duck (Anas erythrorhyncha)
  109. Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)
  110. Eaton’s Pintail (Anas eatoni)
  111. Yellow-billed Pintail (Anas georgica)
  112. Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca)
  113. Andean Teal (Anas andium)
  114. Yellow-billed Teal (Anas flavirostris)
  115. Mauritius Duck (Anas theodori)
  116. Andaman Teal (Anas albogularis)
  117. Sunda Teal (Anas gibberifrons)
  118. Gray Teal (Anas gracilis)
  119. Chestnut Teal (Anas castanea)
  120. Bernier’s Teal (Anas bernieri)
  121. Auckland Islands Teal (Anas aucklandica)
  122. Campbell Islands Teal (Anas nesiotis)
  123. Brown Teal (Anas chlorotis)
  124. Pink-eared Duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus)
  125. Marbled Teal (Marmaronetta angustirostris)
  126. Pink-headed Duck (Rhodonessa caryophyllacea)
  127. White-winged Duck (Asarcornis scutulata)
  128. Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina)
  129. Southern Pochard (Netta erythrophthalma)
  130. Rosy-billed Pochard (Netta peposaca)
  131. Canvasback (Aythya valisineria)
  132. Redhead (Aythya americana)
  133. Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
  134. Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris)
  135. Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca)
  136. Madagascar Pochard (Aythya innotata)
  137. Baer’s Pochard (Aythya baeri)
  138. Hardhead (Aythya australis)
  139. Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
  140. New Zealand Scaup (Aythya novaeseelandiae)
  141. Greater Scaup (Aythya marila)
  142. Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis)
  143. Steller’s Eider (Polysticta stelleri)
  144. Labrador Duck (Camptorhynchus labradorius)
  145. Spectacled Eider (Somateria fischeri)
  146. King Eider (Somateria spectabilis)
  147. Common Eider (Somateria mollissima)
  148. Harlequin Duck (Histrionicus histrionicus)
  149. Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata)
  150. Velvet Scoter (Melanitta fusca)
  151. White-winged Scoter (Melanitta deglandi)
  152. Stejneger’s Scoter (Melanitta stejnegeri)
  153. Common Scoter (Melanitta nigra)
  154. Black Scoter (Melanitta americana)
  155. Long-tailed Duck (Clangula hyemalis)
  156. Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)
  157. Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula)
  158. Barrow’s Goldeneye (Bucephala islandica)
  159. Smew (Mergellus albellus)
  160. Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus)
  161. Auckland Islands Merganser (Mergus australis)
  162. Common Merganser (Mergus merganser)
  163. Brazilian Merganser (Mergus octosetaceus)
  164. Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
  165. Scaly-sided Merganser (Mergus squamatus)
  166. Black-headed Duck (Heteronetta atricapilla)
  167. Masked Duck (Nomonyx dominicus)
  168. Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)
  169. Andean Duck (Oxyura ferruginea)
  170. White-headed Duck (Oxyura leucocephala)
  171. Maccoa Duck (Oxyura maccoa)
  172. Lake Duck (Oxyura vittata)
  173. Blue-billed Duck (Oxyura australis)
  174. Musk Duck (Biziura lobata)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *