Essay

15 Ducks Found in Florida

There are over 30,000 lakes and countless ponds in Florida! You have no idea how many ducks there are in this warm, southern state. There are several species as well, with a wide variety of appearances, but what are they? Discover 15 ducks in Florida by following along.

Mallard

The mallard is a common species of duck found in Florida. Dabbling ducks, mallards have a broad natural range. They are found in North Africa, Eurasia, and the Americas. On the other hand, they have been brought to other nations, such as Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Australia, and South Africa.

Mallards’ male and female appearances differ greatly. Male mallards, for instance, have bright green heads and a ring of white around their necks. They also have grey-brown wings and breasts that are purplish-grey. Conversely, the majority of female mallards are grey, brown, and white. Their look is mottled. How large can a mallard get then? A mallard’s length can range from 20 to 26 inches, and its maximum weight is 3.5 pounds. But mallards often come with a 2.75-pound price tag.

Wood Duck

In Florida, wood ducks are also found. Their distinctive head forms and feathers make them simple to identify. North America is home to wood ducks. Their vibrant nature is well-known. The IUCN Red List has these perching ducks classified as Least Concern.

Wood duck males are beautiful. Their iridescent plumage, which is multicoloured, is outlined by white streaks on the neck and above the eyes. The distinctive pattern on the blue, brown, green, and grey wings of male wood ducks almost resembles stained glass. Women don’t have as much colour. Rather, their plumage is mottled and brownish-grey. A mature wood duck can reach a length of 19 to 21 inches and a weight of up to 34 ounces.

Common Eider

Do you know what a common eider is? Although this species of duck is native to the southern United States, it can be seen in Florida in the winter. Nevertheless, they are sometimes seen in South Florida. Native to Europe are common eiders as well. In the Arctic, they procreate.

Large sea ducks are called common eiders! They have a maximum length of 19.5 to 28 inches and a maximum weight of 6 pounds, 11 ounces. The bodies of common eiders are large. Similar to other duck species, the appearance of men and females varies greatly. The necks of males are pistachio green, with feathers in shades of black and white.

Bufflehead

Buffleheads are the next species of duck found in Florida. Many parts of North America, including the United States, are home to these cute little sea ducks. The IUCN Red List presently classifies buffeheads as Least Concern. They are primarily located in Florida’s northern region.

How then do you recognise these little birds? Buffleheads range in length from 13 to 16 inches. Although they can reach up to 20 ounces, adult buffleheads typically weigh 13 ounces. With the exception of a white patch on the back of their heads, male buffleheads are primarily black and white with iridescent green and purple heads. On the other hand, females have a white patch that is smaller and located behind their eye, and they are also grey, black, and white.

Fulvous Whistling-Duck

There are whistling ducks that are fulvous in Florida as well. These beautiful ducks inhabit warm, tropical climates and are widely distributed. They are found in portions of the United States, Mexico, and the West Indies. Ducks that whistle loudly and brightly are called playful whistling ducks. These huge birds are primarily found in wetlands with abundant vegetation, close to bodies of water.

Unlike other duck species, the appearance of fulvous whistling duck males and females is relatively similar. Although their plumage is similar, females’ colours are duller and paler. Fullvous whistling duck adults have lengthy legs and a wide variety of brown feather tones. With a maximum length of 21 inches, they are rather long. Males can weigh up to 37 ounces, while females are slightly smaller, weighing up to 35 ounces.

Northern Pintail

The graceful northern pintail duck. In Florida, these big ducks are not uncommon. They are widely distributed and are frequently seen in North America and the northern regions of Europe. The wingspans of northern pintails can reach up to 37 inches in length. Northern pintail males can grow up to 30 inches in length, making them larger than females. The weight of an adult male northern pintail varies between 0.99 to 3 pounds. However, females seldom weigh more than 2.5 pounds.

Despite their similar size and colouring, northern pintails and mallards differ significantly. Male breeding adults, for example, have brown and grey plumage with a noticeable white neck stripe. Northern pintail females have light brown mottling. Their tails are longer than those of males, but they are still long. The lengthy necks and tails of adult northern pintails are well-known features.

Hooded Merganser

In Florida, hooded mergansers are also occasionally seen. The family Anatidae includes these fish-eating ducks. They are widespread and on the IUCN Red List as Least Concern. The winter months are when Central Florida is home to these unusual ducks. In Central Florida’s numerous lakes and ponds, they spend the winter.

At 15 to 19 inches in length, hooded mergansers can weigh up to 31 ounces. The look of male hooded mergansers is distinctive. When their “hood” is lifted, a huge blackhead with yellow eyes and a conspicuous white patch beyond the eye are visible. However, adult females are duller, primarily appearing in various colours of grey and brown.

Surf Scoter

One species of duck that is easy to overlook is the surf scoter. A lot of individuals are ducks without even realising it! The beaks of surf scoter birds are thick and lengthy. These are big sea ducks that are found throughout North America. They are widespread and on the IUCN Red List as Least Concern.

The look of surf scoter ducks varies by gender. Male surf scoters, for example, have conspicuous white patches on their nape and forehead and are almost totally shiny black. Their bills include black, white, and red spots and are a vivid orange colour. The majority of females are grey-brown in colour rather than having the same white patches. Additionally, they have black bills that are partially coloured blue or green.

Gadwall

Another species of duck to make our list is the gadwall, a stunning and common dabbling duck. They are striking and highly prevalent. The call of gadwall ducks is easily recognized—it like a series of quick “quacks.” Adults can weigh more than 35 ounces and measure between 19 and 23 inches in length. However, females weigh an average of 30 ounces less than males.

Not unexpectedly, gadwalls differ greatly in appearance between the sexes. For example, adult males used for breeding are light grey and chestnut brown with a white mark on their wings. When they fly or stretch their wings, this white patch is clearly visible. However, the majority of females are light brown in colour with a dark orange beak. They are a confusing hybrid of mallards.

Mottled Duck

The dabbling species of duck, the mottled duck, is also found in Florida. They are classified as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List and are widespread in the Sunshine State.

The length of mottled ducks ranges from 17 to 24 inches. Their maximum weight is 43 ounces. There aren’t many differences between men and females of this species of duck. They both look to be mottled grey and brown. On the other hand, males have yellow bills while females have orange bills.

Green-winged Teal

The green-winged teal is one of Florida’s most vibrant and glossy waterfowl. The tiniest dabbling duck species found in North America is this one. They are distinguished by their vivid green speculum with white edges and their small, stocky bodies.

The appearance of green-winged teal ducks varies between the sexes. Males, for example, have brown and grey plumage with a distinguishing white-edged green patch and a yellow rear end. A vivid green eye patch is also present in males. Women lack the same vibrancy. The majority of them are various tones of grey and brown.

Muscovy Duck

The muscovy duck is the next duck on our list of duck species found in Florida. Although it’s not native, it’s highly common throughout the state. Rather, the concern lies with introduced species, which frequently harm native species and spread illnesses. Muscovy ducks procreate swiftly and frequently form big flocks.

Muscovy ducks are simple to recognise. They are big, black-and-white-plumed ducks that hiss rather than quack. These unusual ducks have a length of about 34 inches and a maximum weight of 15 pounds. However, females are much smaller, growing to only be approximately 25 inches long and weighing 7.9 pounds. The plumage of male and female muscovy ducks is similar. Males do, however, have a distinct dark red knob located at the base of their bills.

Northern Shoveler

Florida is home to northern shovelers as well. These widely distributed ducks are found in the Caribbean, the United States, and the United Kingdom. According to the IUCN Red List, these ducks are currently classified as Least Concern. Their big, spatulate bills make them simple to identify. Males are more colourful and showy than females.

The iridescent dark green head, mostly brown and grey wings, and pale blue or purple forewing feathers are characteristics of adult male northern shovelers. Women have less pigmentation. They are speckled brown instead. These ducks weigh roughly 1.3 pounds and grow to a maximum length of 19 inches.

Lesser Scaup

The smaller scaup comes in close to the bottom of our ranking. Their bill is pale blue or grey, and they are a little diving duck found in North America. According to the IUCN Red List, lesser scaup ducks are widespread and classified as Least Concern.

The plumage of males and females varies, although their builds are identical. Male adult lesser scaups, for instance, have plumage that is black, brown, and grey. Their underparts are white, while their heads are lustrous black. Despite being dark and grey in colour, adult females can be easily recognised due to the white band located at the base of their bill. Males and females can weigh between one and two pounds and vary in length from fifteen to nineteen inches.

Ruddy Duck

Not to be overlooked is the ruddy duck, another species with blue bills. The distinctive tail of this stunning duck is rigid and points upward. The IUCN Red List classifies these ducks, which are widespread in North America, as Least Concern.

Ruddy duck males stand out with their blue bills due to their black crowns and white cheeks. They are renowned for having bodies that are chestnut or reddish. In the summer and winter, their plumage changes in colour and shade. Ruddy duck females are less colourful. They are mostly grey or brown, with a stripe running down each cheek. These little ducks have a length of 13 to 17 inches. A little over a pound makes them weigh.

Highlights of the Ducks Found in Florida:

Duck Species
Mallard
Wood Duck
Common Eider
Bufflehead
Fulvous Whistling-Duck
Northern Pintail
Hooded Merganser
Surf Scoter
Gadwall
Mottled Duck
Green-winged Teal
Muscovy Duck
Northern Shoveler
Lesser Scaup
Ruddy Duck