Discovering Wisconsin’s Ducks: Identifying Different Types of Ducks in the Badger State

Types of Ducks in Wisconsin

Wisconsin is home to a variety of duck species, both resident and migratory, due to its numerous lakes, rivers, and wetland areas. Here are some common types of ducks you may find in Wisconsin:

1. Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

The Mallard is the most common and widely recognized duck species in Wisconsin. Males have a distinctive green head, yellow bill, and gray body. Females have a mottled brown appearance. Mallards can be found in various habitats, including wetlands, lakes, and ponds.

2. Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)

The Wood Duck is a colorful and beautiful duck species found in Wisconsin. Males have a striking combination of iridescent green, purple, and white plumage, along with a distinctive red eye and a crest on their head. Females have a mottled brown appearance. Wood Ducks inhabit wooded wetlands, forested areas near water, and beaver ponds.

3. Blue-winged Teal (Spatula discors)

The Blue-winged Teal is a migratory duck species that passes through Wisconsin during the spring and fall. Males have a grayish-brown body with a white crescent on their face and a distinctive blue patch on their wings. Females have a mottled brown appearance. Blue-winged Teals are commonly found in wetlands, marshes, and shallow ponds.

4. Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)

The Northern Pintail is a migratory duck species that visits Wisconsin during the spring and fall migration. Males have a long, slender neck, a pointed tail, and a brownish body with gray and white markings. Females have a mottled brown appearance. Pintails can be seen in various wetland habitats, including marshes, ponds, and flooded fields.

5. American Black Duck (Anas rubripes)

The American Black Duck is a native duck species found in Wisconsin throughout the year. Both males and females have a dark brown body with a lighter brown head. American Black Ducks prefer freshwater marshes, estuaries, and coastal areas.

6. Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca)

The Green-winged Teal is a small and highly migratory duck species that visits Wisconsin during the spring and fall migration. Males have a brownish body with a distinctive green patch on their wings. Females have a mottled brown appearance. Green-winged Teals are often found in shallow wetlands, marshes, and flooded fields.

These are just a few examples of the many duck species that can be found in Wisconsin. Exploring the state’s diverse waterways and wetlands can provide opportunities to observe these beautiful birds in their natural habitats.