Waterfowl | Anseriformes

Anseriformes, or waterfowl, are an order of aquatic birds that include ducks, geese, and swan. Since these birds are frequently aquatic, many Anseriformes have webbed feet. Anseriformes are medium to large in size and are primarily herbivorous, but will forge on occasion for insects, mollusks, or small fish. During mating season, Anseriformes will often display complex courting displays with various vocalizations and body postures. Anseriformes are found worldwide, except in the Antarctic region. Anseriformes have been domesticated for their egg, meat, and liver production and some are hunted for sport or for their feathers.

What do waterfowl eat?

A waterfowl’s diet is dependent on their habitat, and species. Some waterfowl are omnivores while others are exclusively herbivores. Herbivores may eat smartweed, pondweeds, widgeon grass, natural seeds, and native plants to their habitat. Some waterfowl may consume aquatic invertebrates. Waterfowl typically eat about 10% of their body weight in plant matter every day.

How do you hunt waterfowl?

In order to hunt waterfowl successfully you will need to get the right camouflage gear, hunt with someone who has hunting experience, and make sure you hunt in an area in which you have permission to do so. It is also important to have the right firearm and decoy, have the right duck call, and hunt legally.

Why is it illegal to hunt waterfowl with lead shot?

It is illegal to hunt waterfowl with lead shot due to high levels of lead in meat that has been commercially processed. The residual lead in the meat is from the bullets used in hunting. Lead is especially harmful to small children and pregnant women.

Waterfowl Guides
Browse through our curated Waterfowl Guides for additional categorizations, tips, details, variations, styles, and histories of Waterfowl. Guides provide additional insights into the unique properties and shared relationships between elements.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
24”-30.7” | 61-78 cm
63”-79” | 160-201 cm (Wingspan)
43.3”-55.9” | 110-142 cm
8.2-19.8 lb | 3.7-9 kg
12-40 years
Black Swan
78.000
201.000
142.000
9.000
40.00
695200
3D
Black Swan
7.5”-9.4” | 19-24 cm
20”-24” | 51-61 cm (Wingspan)
13”-16” | 33-41 cm
.6-1.2 lb | .27-.55 kg
3-18 years
Bufflehead
24.000
61.000
41.000
0.550
18.00
21060
3D
Bufflehead
14.6”-21.7” | 37-55 cm
50”-73” | 127-185 cm (Wingspan)
29.5”-43.3” | 75-110 cm
5.5-14 lb | 2.5-6.35 kg
10-24 years
Canada Goose
55.000
185.000
110.000
6.350
24.00
31200
3D
Canada Goose
11.4”-14.6” | 29-37 cm
34”-38” | 86-97 cm (Wingspan)
22”-28” | 56-71 cm
2-4.6 lb | .9-2.1 kg
11-15 years
Common Merganser
37.000
97.000
71.000
2.100
15.00
13350
3D
Common Merganser
24.4”-29.9” | 62-76 cm
58”-71” | 147-180 cm (Wingspan)
29.1”-35.8” | 74-91 cm
4.9-10.1 lb | 2.2-4.6 kg
15-31 years
Domestic Goose
76.000
180.000
91.000
4.600
31.00
9200
3D
Domestic Goose
15.75”-17.3” | 40-44 cm
48”-56” | 122-142 cm (Wingspan)
26”-28” | 66-71 cm
4.3-6.9 lb | 1.95-3.13 kg
6-12 years
Emperor Goose
44.000
142.000
71.000
3.130
12.00
2530
3D
Emperor Goose
Gadwall
14040
11”-13.4” | 28-34 cm
31”-35” | 79-89 cm (Wingspan)
18”-22” | 46-56 cm
1.2-2.2 lb | .55-1 kg
10-28 years
Gadwall
34.000
89.000
56.000
1.000
28.00
14040
3D
Gadwall
8.7”-12.6” | 22-32 cm
22”-26” | 56-66 cm (Wingspan)
14”-20” | 36-51 cm
1-1.7 lb | .45-.76 kg
12-20 years
Harlequin Duck
32.000
66.000
51.000
0.760
20.00
12050
3D
Harlequin Duck
9.8”-12.2” | 25-31 cm
23”-28” | 58-71 cm (Wingspan)
15.75”-19.3” | 40-49 cm
1-1.9 lb | .45-.88 kg
11-16 years
Hooded Merganser
31.000
71.000
49.000
0.880
16.00
27070
3D
Hooded Merganser
Mallard
105400
12.6”-17.7” | 32-45 cm
32”-39” | 81-99 cm (Wingspan)
19.7”-28” | 50-71 cm
1.5-3.5 lb | .7-1.6 kg
5-29 years
Mallard
45.000
99.000
71.000
1.600
29.00
105400
3D
Mallard
14.2”-18.1” | 36-46 cm
54”-60” | 137-152 cm (Wingspan)
26”-33.1” | 66-84 cm
6-15 lb | 2.72-6.8 kg
6-15 years
Muscovy Duck
46.000
152.000
84.000
6.800
15.00
68000
3D
Muscovy Duck
33.1”-42.9” | 84-109 cm
59”-94” | 150-239 cm (Wingspan)
49.2”-63” | 125-160 cm
19-26 lb | 8.62-11.79 kg
15-25 years
Mute Swan
109.000
239.000
160.000
11.790
25.00
24800
3D
Mute Swan
8.9”-10.6” | 22.5-27 cm
31”-33” | 79-84 cm (Wingspan)
16.9”-20.9” | 43-53 cm
1.5-3.2 lb | .68-1.45 kg
10-23 years
Redhead Duck
27.000
84.000
53.000
1.450
23.00
5860
3D
Redhead Duck
7.9”-10” | 20-25.5 cm
22”-25” | 56-64 cm (Wingspan)
13.4”-16.9” | 34-43 cm
.8-1.8 lb | .35-.8 kg
13-20 years
Ruddy Duck
25.500
64.000
43.000
0.800
20.00
20300
3D
Ruddy Duck
18.9”-24.8” | 48-63 cm
53”-65” | 135-165 cm (Wingspan)
25.2”-33.1” | 64-84 cm
4.4-7.1 lb | 2-3.2 kg
15-25 years
Snow Goose
63.000
165.000
84.000
3.200
25.00
22300
3D
Snow Goose
37.8”-46.5” | 96-118 cm
72”-102” | 183-259 cm (Wingspan)
57.1”-70.9” | 145-180 cm
15.4-30 lb | 7-13.6 kg
24-35 years
Trumpeter Swan
118.000
259.000
180.000
13.600
35.00
13100
3D
Trumpeter Swan
29.5”-37.8” | 75-96 cm
72”-84” | 183-213 cm (Wingspan)
45.3”-59.1” | 115-150 cm
7.5-21.2 lb | 3.4-9.6 kg
15-24 years
Tundra Swan
96.000
213.000
150.000
9.600
24.00
9350
3D
Tundra Swan
12”-13.8” | 30.5-35 cm
26”-30” | 66-76 cm (Wingspan)
18.5”-21.3” | 47-54 cm
1-1.9 lb | .45-.86 kg
15-23 years
Wood Duck
35.000
76.000
54.000
0.860
23.00
74600
3D
Wood Duck
Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)
Scale illustration of an average Ruddy Duck compared to other waterfowl species

The Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis) is a North American stiff-tailed duck that occupies marshy lakes and ponds; in the winter they migrate to coastal bays and unfrozen lakes and ponds. They are small and compactly built with stout, scoop-shaped bills, and long stiff-tails turned upwards. Adult males have a rich chestnut color and a bright blue bill, and in the winter they have a gray-brown coloration with a dull gray bill. Adult females are similar in appearance to winter males but with a blurry stripe across the pale check patch. Their diet consists of crustaceans, aquatic insects, and seeds and roots of aquatic plants.

The Ruddy Duck has a wingspan in the range of 22”-25” (56-64 cm) and total weight of .8-1.8 lb (.35-.8 kg). The body of the Ruddy Duck has an overall length between 13.4”-16.9” (34-43 cm), body width of 3.7”-5.1” (9.5-13 cm), and standing height of roughly 7.9”-10” (20-25.5 cm). The typical lifespan of the Ruddy Duck is between 13-20 years.

Series of measured illustrations of the Ruddy Duck
The Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis) is a North American stiff-tailed duck that occupies marshy lakes and ponds; in the winter they migrate to coastal bays and unfrozen lakes and ponds. They are small and compactly built with stout, scoop-shaped bills, and long stiff-tails turned upwards.

The Ruddy Duck has a wingspan in the range of 22”-25” (56-64 cm) and total weight of .8-1.8 lb (.35-.8 kg). The body of the Ruddy Duck has an overall length between 13.4”-16.9” (34-43 cm), body width of 3.7”-5.1” (9.5-13 cm), and standing height of roughly 7.9”-10” (20-25.5 cm). The typical lifespan of the Ruddy Duck is between 13-20 years.

Series of measured illustrations of the Ruddy Duck
Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)
Height:
7.9”-10” | 20-25.5 cm
Width:
22”-25” | 56-64 cm (Wingspan)
Length:
13.4”-16.9” | 34-43 cm
Depth:
Weight:
.8-1.8 lb | .35-.8 kg
Area:

Body Width: 3.7”-5.1” | 9.5-13 cm

Scientific Name
Oxyura jamaicensis
Lifespan
13-20 years

Drawings include:

Ruddy Duck side view, front, flying (assorted)

Details & Downloads

Downloads

2D Downloads

3D Downloads

Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator)
Comparison drawing of the Trumpeter Swan compared to other waterfowl

The Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator) is a North American swan species and the heaviest living bird native to North America. Its name is in reference to the swan’s cry which is loud, musical, and similar to the sound of a trumpet. The plumage of an adult swan is entirely white; it has a large, wedge-shaped black bill that is sometimes minimally lined with salmon-pink around the mouth. They breed in large shallow ponds, undisturbed lakes, wetlands, and wide slow rivers in northwestern and central North America, and in the winter they migrate to the southern tier of Canada and parts of the United States.

The Trumpeter Swan has a wingspan in the range of 72”-102” (183-259 cm) and total weight of 15.4-30 lb (7-13.6 kg). The body of the Trumpeter Swan has an overall length between 57.1”-70.9” (145-180 cm), body width of 13”-16.1” (33-41 cm), and standing height of roughly 37.8”-46.5” (96-118 cm). The typical lifespan of the Trumpeter Swan is between 24-35 years.

Set of scaled top and elevation drawings of the Trumpeter Swan
The Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator) is a North American swan species and the heaviest living bird native to North America. Its name is in reference to the swan’s cry which is loud, musical, and similar to the sound of a trumpet. The plumage of an adult swan is entirely white.

The Trumpeter Swan has a wingspan in the range of 72”-102” (183-259 cm) and total weight of 15.4-30 lb (7-13.6 kg). The body of the Trumpeter Swan has an overall length between 57.1”-70.9” (145-180 cm), body width of 13”-16.1” (33-41 cm), and standing height of roughly 37.8”-46.5” (96-118 cm). The typical lifespan of the Trumpeter Swan is between 24-35 years.

Set of scaled top and elevation drawings of the Trumpeter Swan
Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator)
Height:
37.8”-46.5” | 96-118 cm
Width:
72”-102” | 183-259 cm (Wingspan)
Length:
57.1”-70.9” | 145-180 cm
Depth:
Weight:
15.4-30 lb | 7-13.6 kg
Area:

Body Width: 13”-16.1” | 33-41 cm

Scientific Name
Cygnus buccinator
Lifespan
24-35 years

Drawings include:

Trumpeter Swan side view, front, flying (assorted)

Details & Downloads

Downloads

2D Downloads

3D Downloads

Domestic Goose (Anser anser domesticus)
Comparison illustration of the size of a Domestic Goose to other species of waterfowl

The Domestic Goose (Anser anser domesticus or Anser cygnoides domesticus) is a gray goose kept by humans for poultry, eggs, and down feathers. Males are distinguished by their protective behavior towards their mates and offspring; they are taller and larger than females, and they have longer necks. The colors of the plumage vary, and they are either completely covered in white feathers or have dark brown tones. Their heavy weight affects their ability to fly, but most breeds are capable of flight. As the most aggressive of all poultry, the Domestic Goose has been used as a watch animal and guard for centuries.

The Domestic Goose has a wingspan in the range of 58”-71” (147-180 cm) and total weight of 4.9-10.1 lb (2.2-4.6 kg). The body of the Domestic Goose has an overall length between 29.1”-35.8” (74-91 cm), body width of 9.8”-11.8” (25-30 cm), and standing height of roughly 24.4”-29.9” (62-76 cm). The typical lifespan of the Domestic Goose is between 15-31 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Domestic Goose in various poses with dimensions
The Domestic Goose (Anser anser domesticus or Anser cygnoides domesticus) is a gray goose kept by humans for poultry, eggs, and down feathers. Males are distinguished by their protective behavior towards their mates and offspring; they are taller and larger than females, and they have longer necks.

The Domestic Goose has a wingspan in the range of 58”-71” (147-180 cm) and total weight of 4.9-10.1 lb (2.2-4.6 kg). The body of the Domestic Goose has an overall length between 29.1”-35.8” (74-91 cm), body width of 9.8”-11.8” (25-30 cm), and standing height of roughly 24.4”-29.9” (62-76 cm). The typical lifespan of the Domestic Goose is between 15-31 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Domestic Goose in various poses with dimensions
Domestic Goose (Anser anser domesticus)
Height:
24.4”-29.9” | 62-76 cm
Width:
58”-71” | 147-180 cm (Wingspan)
Length:
29.1”-35.8” | 74-91 cm
Depth:
Weight:
4.9-10.1 lb | 2.2-4.6 kg
Area:

Body Width: 9.8”-11.8” | 25-30 cm

Scientific Name
Anser anser domesticus
Lifespan
15-31 years

Drawings include:

Domestic Goose side view, front, flying (assorted)

Details & Downloads

Downloads

2D Downloads

3D Downloads

Redhead Duck (Aythya americana)
Comparison drawing of the Redhead Duck compared to other waterfowl

The Redhead Duck (Aythya americana) is a diving duck distinguished by the male’s copper colored head and bright blue bill. Adult females have a yellow to brown head and neck, and they retain the same color throughout the year. They live in small, semi-permanent wetlands where the water is deep enough for emergent vegetation. In the winter they occupy large areas of water near the coast. Specially adapted to forage underwater, the Redhead Duck’s legs are placed further back on the body which makes walking on land difficult. Their diets consists of both plant and animal materials, and during breeding season more animals like gastropods, mollusks, and insect larvae are consumed.

The Redhead Duck has a wingspan in the range of 31”-33” (79-84 cm) and total weight of 1.5-3.2 lb (.68-1.45 kg). The body of the Redhead Duck has an overall length between 16.9”-20.9” (43-53 cm), body width of 3.9”-5.1” (10-13 cm), and standing height of roughly 8.9”-10.6” (22.5-27 cm). The typical lifespan of the Redhead Duck is between 10-23 years.

Set of scaled side and front drawings of the Redhead Duck
The Redhead Duck (Aythya americana) is a diving duck distinguished by the male’s copper colored head and bright blue bill. Adult females have a yellow to brown head and neck, and they retain the same color throughout the year. They live in small, semi-permanent wetlands where the water is deep.

The Redhead Duck has a wingspan in the range of 31”-33” (79-84 cm) and total weight of 1.5-3.2 lb (.68-1.45 kg). The body of the Redhead Duck has an overall length between 16.9”-20.9” (43-53 cm), body width of 3.9”-5.1” (10-13 cm), and standing height of roughly 8.9”-10.6” (22.5-27 cm). The typical lifespan of the Redhead Duck is between 10-23 years.

Set of scaled side and front drawings of the Redhead Duck
Redhead Duck (Aythya americana)
Height:
8.9”-10.6” | 22.5-27 cm
Width:
31”-33” | 79-84 cm (Wingspan)
Length:
16.9”-20.9” | 43-53 cm
Depth:
Weight:
1.5-3.2 lb | .68-1.45 kg
Area:

Body Width: 3.9”-5.1” | 10-13 cm

Scientific Name
Aythya americana
Lifespan
10-23 years

Drawings include:

Redhead Duck side view, front, flying (assorted)

Details & Downloads

Downloads

2D Downloads

3D Downloads

Harlequin Duck (Histrionicus histrionicus)
Comparison illustration of the size of a Harlequin Duck to other species of waterfowl

The Harlequin Duck (Histrionicus histrionicus) is a small sea duck with a colorful and complex plumage pattern. The head and neck are dark slate blue with a large white crescent marking in front of the eye. A black crown stripe runs over the top of the head, and a black-bordered white collar distinguishes the head from the breast. The body is mostly a lighter slate blue color with chestnut sides. Adult female Harlequin Ducks are less colorful. They breed in cold and fast moving streams, and they nest in a well-concealed location on the ground near a stream. Their smoothly packed feathers trap ample air which insulate their bodies from cold water.

The Harlequin Duck has a wingspan in the range of 22”-26” (56-66 cm) and total weight of 1-1.7 lb (.45-.76 kg). The body of the Harlequin Duck has an overall length between 14”-20” (36-51 cm), body width of 3.1”-4.3” (8-11 cm), and standing height of roughly 8.7”-12.6” (22-32 cm). The typical lifespan of the Harlequin Duck is between 12-20 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Harlequin Duck in various poses with dimensions
The Harlequin Duck (Histrionicus histrionicus) is a small sea duck with a colorful and complex plumage pattern. The head and neck are dark slate blue with a large white crescent marking in front of the eye. A black crown stripe runs over the top of the head with a black-bordered white collar.

The Harlequin Duck has a wingspan in the range of 22”-26” (56-66 cm) and total weight of 1-1.7 lb (.45-.76 kg). The body of the Harlequin Duck has an overall length between 14”-20” (36-51 cm), body width of 3.1”-4.3” (8-11 cm), and standing height of roughly 8.7”-12.6” (22-32 cm). The typical lifespan of the Harlequin Duck is between 12-20 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Harlequin Duck in various poses with dimensions
Harlequin Duck (Histrionicus histrionicus)
Height:
8.7”-12.6” | 22-32 cm
Width:
22”-26” | 56-66 cm (Wingspan)
Length:
14”-20” | 36-51 cm
Depth:
Weight:
1-1.7 lb | .45-.76 kg
Area:

Body Width: 3.1”-4.3” | 8-11 cm

Scientific Name
Histrionicus histrionicus
Lifespan
12-20 years

Drawings include:

Harlequin Duck side view, front, flying (assorted)

Details & Downloads

Downloads

2D Downloads

3D Downloads

Related Animals Collections
Animals