Discover the Different Types of Sea Ducks: A Guide to Identifying Your Waterfowl Friends

Sea ducks are a group of waterfowl that are specifically adapted to marine environments. They are known for their ability to dive and swim in rough waters. Here are some common types of sea ducks:

1. Common Eider (Somateria mollissima)

Common Eiders are large sea ducks found in coastal regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Males have striking black and white plumage, while females are brown. They are known for their soft down feathers, which are used to line their nests. Common Eiders feed primarily on mollusks and crustaceans.

2. Harlequin Duck (Histrionicus histrionicus)

Harlequin Ducks are small and colorful sea ducks. Males have vibrant plumage with bold patterns, including blue, white, and chestnut markings. They are found in fast-flowing rivers and coastal areas, where they feed on small fish and invertebrates.

3. Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata)

Surf Scoters are large sea ducks with thick bills. Males have black plumage with white patches on the head and nape, while females are brown. They are commonly seen in coastal waters, where they dive to feed on benthic invertebrates, mollusks, and crustaceans.

4. Long-tailed Duck (Clangula hyemalis)

Long-tailed Ducks, also known as Oldsquaws, are medium-sized sea ducks. They have distinct breeding plumage with a long, slender tail and a striking mix of black, white, and gray feathers. During the non-breeding season, both males and females have a more muted appearance. Long-tailed Ducks feed on mollusks, crustaceans, and small fish.

5. Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula)

Common Goldeneyes are medium-sized sea ducks with striking plumage. Males have glossy black feathers with a white crescent-shaped patch on the face and a yellow eye. Females are mostly brown. They are known for their diving abilities and feed on small fish, insects, and crustaceans.

6. Barrow’s Goldeneye (Bucephala islandica)

Barrow’s Goldeneyes are similar in appearance to Common Goldeneyes, but they have a different range and habitat preference. Males have a black head with a crescent-shaped white patch and a purplish sheen. Females are gray-brown. Barrow’s Goldeneyes are found in freshwater and marine habitats, and their diet consists of small fish, aquatic invertebrates, and crustaceans.

These are just a few examples of sea ducks found in different parts of the world. Sea ducks are known for their resilience and adaptability to marine environments, and they play an important role in coastal ecosystems.