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Friday, March 24, 2023

30 Water Birds That Dwell in the USA! (w/Pics)

What sorts of water birds can you discover in the USA?

common water birds


Go to any lake, river, or wetland, and you’re nearly sure to see some sort of chicken within the water, whether or not it’s a duck trying to find meals within the shallows or a heron stalking prey alongside the shore.


At this time, you will be taught 30 water chicken species which can be COMMON in the USA!


Right here is how the under checklist is organized. Click on the hyperlink to leap straight to that part!

Geese, Geese, & Swans:


#1. Mallard

mallard ducks common

Methods to determine:

  • Males have a shiny inexperienced head, skinny white collar, darkish reddish-brown chest, yellow invoice, and a black rump with a white-tipped tail.
  • Females are mottled brown with orange and brown payments.
  • Each sexes have purple-blue secondary feathers on their wing, which is most seen when they’re standing or flying.


My guess is that just about everyone seems to be acquainted with the Mallard. These geese are positively the most typical water birds in the USA!

Mallard Vary Map

mallard duck range map

Mallards are extraordinarily snug round individuals, which is why these adaptable geese are so widespread. They’re present in nearly any wetland habitat, irrespective of the place it’s positioned. We even discover these water birds in our swimming pool each summer time and need to chase them away, so that they don’t make a large number on our deck! 🙂


If you consider a duck quacking, it’s nearly inevitably a feminine Mallard. If there’s a higher duck sound, we haven’t heard it! Apparently, males don’t quack like females however as an alternative make a raspy name.

#2. American Wigeon

american wigeon

Methods to determine:

  • Compact water birds with spherical heads. Blue-gray payments which can be tipped in black.
  • Males are principally brown however have a particular inexperienced band behind their eyes and a white crown.
  • Females have brown our bodies general, with a grayer-colored head.


American Wigeons are quite a few, however they like quiet lakes and marshes away from individuals. Their weight loss program consists of a better proportion of plant matter than different geese and can even go to farm fields to feed, much like geese. Their brief invoice supplies plenty of energy to assist pluck vegetation with ease!


American Wigeon Vary Map

american wigeon range map


Since they will scare simply when approached, among the finest methods to see these water birds in the USA is to pay attention for them! Males give a 3-part nasal whistle (whew-whew-whew) at any time of the yr, which kind of appears like a kazoo (pay attention under)! Females don’t whistle, however they do produce a harsh grunt quack.


#3. Northern Pintail

northern pintail ducks

Methods to determine:

  • Slender geese with lengthy tails and necks and a pale black-gray invoice.
  • Males have a cinnamon-brown head, grey our bodies, and a white throat and breast.
  • Females have plain tan heads and rufous-brown plumage on their our bodies.


Northern Pintails have an extended neck that exaggerates their extraordinarily pointy tail (therefore the identify) when in flight.  Even when floating on water, its tail stands proud farther from its physique than its head. Non-breeding males and all females have shorter however nonetheless distinguished pintails.

Northern Pintail Vary Map

northern pintail range map

The perfect place to seek out these water birds in the USA is wetland habitat away from individuals. Wildlife refuges are good locations to begin. They have a tendency to stay to shallower areas close to the perimeters of lakes and ponds. Apparently, they’re additionally proficient at strolling on land, so that you’ll discover them cleansing farm fields of barley, wheat, rice, and corn leftovers.


Males have a singular name, which sounds a bit like a prepare whistle. Females utter low-pitched quacking “kuk” notes.

Northern Pintails solely migrate at night time and are unimaginable flyers! Throughout migration, they attain speeds as much as 48 mph (77 kph), and the file for longest continuous flight is 1,800 miles (2,900 km)!


#4. Northern Shoveler

northern shovelers male female

Methods to determine:

  • Males have reddish-brown flanks, inexperienced heads, a white chest, black backs, and yellow eyes.
  • Females are brown, and generally you may see a bluish shoulder patch.
  • Each sexes have distinctive payments, that are giant and huge!


When you solely look on the inexperienced head, informal observers in the USA would possibly by accident suppose these geese are Mallards. However one search for shut at these water birds, and it’s best to discover the ENORMOUS spoon-shaped invoice, which is how Northern Shovelers bought their identify.

Northern Shoveler Vary Map

northern shoveler range map

They use their giant invoice to shovel and sift by way of mud and sand to seek out tasty tidbits like crustaceans, mollusks, and aquatic bugs. Apparently, their invoice has over 100 tiny projections on the perimeters referred to as lamellae that assist filter out the meals they wish to eat.


Males make a guttural “took-took” sound throughout courtship, when alarmed, and in flight.  Females make a nasally sounding quack.

An fascinating habits noticed with Northern Shovelers is their capability to “team-up” to seek out one thing to eat. Flocks of them will generally swim in circles collectively to assist fire up meals!


#5. Blue-winged Teal

blue winged teal male and female

Methods to determine:

  • Males have a head that’s bluish with a white band in entrance of the attention. Black invoice and black wings. Physique is brown with black spots.
  • Females have brown our bodies. Search for a darkish eyeline and crown on their head.


Blue-winged Teals are present in shallow wetlands throughout the USA. These water birds get their identify from the attractive blue shoulder patch that’s solely seen in flight! Simply as fairly is the inexperienced plumage under the blue on the wing.

Blue-winged Teal Vary Map

blue winged teal range map

Consider it or not, these lovely waterfowl are the second most plentiful duck in North America, behind solely (you guessed it) the Mallard. Blue-winged Teal are a preferred species for hunters, though the variety of birds taken per yr is monitored carefully to make sure the inhabitants stays robust.


Males produce a excessive whistled “tsee-tsee.”


#6. Inexperienced-winged Teal

green winged teal

Methods to determine:

  • Males have chestnut-brown heads and a inexperienced ear patch. Stunning gray-barred our bodies with vertical white stripes on all sides.
  • Females have a darkish eye-line and are mottled brown all through.
  • Each sexes have a inexperienced patch on their wing, which is seen in flight and more often than not when resting.


Inexperienced-winged Teals are one of many smallest water birds you’ll find in the USA. They’re solely 12-15 inches (31-39 cm) in size and weigh between 5 and 18 ounces (140-510 g).

Inexperienced-winged Teal Vary Map

green winged teal range map

These birds usually journey and hang around with different species. Look carefully for the smallest duck in a combined flock, and there’s a good likelihood it’s a Inexperienced-winged Teal. Even females, which look much like feminine Mallards, ought to stand out as a result of they’re noticeably smaller!


Males give a brief, clear, repeated whistle, which is a singular sound for a duck if you happen to ask me!  Females usually give a sequence of quacks at any time of the yr.


#7. Wooden Duck

wood ducks

Methods to determine:

  • Males have very intricate plumage. Search for the inexperienced crested head, pink eyes, and chestnut breast with white flecks.
  • Females have brown our bodies with a grayish head, which can also be barely crested. White teardrop eye patch and a blue patch on the wing.


Walt Disney used to say that “the world is a carousel of shade,” and few waterfowl have taken this extra to coronary heart than the male Wooden Duck.  In actual fact, it appears like an artist used each shade to color a duck that has inexperienced, pink, orange, lime, yellow, buff, rose, brown, tan, black, white, grey, purple, and blue coloring.

Wooden Duck Vary Map

wood duck range map

This is likely one of the few water chicken species in the USA you may even see in a tree! Wooden Geese use deserted tree cavities for nesting, however in addition they readily take to elevated nesting containers.


When hatchlings go away the nest for the primary time, they usually need to make an enormous leap of religion (as much as 50 toes) to the bottom under! You must watch the video under to imagine it. 🙂


Apparently, Wooden Geese are completely advanced for his or her life spent in bushes. Their claws are highly effective, which permits them to perch and grasp onto branches!


The most typical sound heard from Wooden Geese is when they’re disturbed. I’ve usually by accident encounter them solely to listen to them flying away saying “ooeek-ooeek” loudly!


#8. Bufflehead

bufflehead male female

Methods to determine:

  • Small geese with giant heads.
  • Males have white chests and flanks and a big white patch on their heads. Darkish again. Iridescent purple-green plumage on their face.
  • Females are principally brownish with a darker head. Search for the distinctive white cheek patch.


It’s arduous to misidentify these placing water birds when seen in the USA. They spend as much as half their time foraging underwater, in search of aquatic invertebrates and crustaceans, which they eat whereas nonetheless submerged. Once they dive, be affected person and preserve scanning across the space for these small birds to resurface.


Bufflehead Vary Map

bufflehead range map


Buffleheads are choosy nesters, and they’re going to ONLY lay eggs inside a cavity. They nearly solely use holes that had been excavated by Northern Sparkles, and occasionally, Pileated Woodpeckers. They’re shedding nest websites because of logging, however they do take readily to correctly put in nest containers.


Total, Buffleheads are extra silent than different geese. In late winter to early spring, it’s potential to listen to the males make a squeaky whistle.


#9. Hooded Merganser

hooded merganser male and female

Methods to determine:

  • Small water chicken with an extended, slender invoice.
  • Breeding males have an unmistakable giant black crest that has a big white patch on all sides. Yellow eyes.
  • Females have darkish eyes and are brown general with a barely lighter coloured crest, which nearly appears like a mohawk. Nonbreeding males look much like females, besides they’ve yellow eyes.


Look-wise, Hooded Merganser’s are one among my favourite water birds. Seeing a breeding male with its giant black and white crest erected is a gorgeous sight. Search for these geese in shallow ponds and rivers in summer time, whereas in winter, they transfer to unfrozen lakes or bays.

Hooded Merganser Vary Map

hooded merganser range map

Their lengthy, skinny invoice is serrated, which helps them catch small fish, crayfish, and aquatic bugs. Their meals is nearly all the time swallowed complete, no matter dimension. They hunt underwater by sight and have imaginative and prescient diversifications that enable them to see fairly clearly when submerged.


Females have an fascinating habits the place they might lay a few of their eggs in different Hooded Mergansers’ nests. Whereas every chicken can lay as much as a dozen eggs, nests have been discovered with greater than 40 eggs in them, making one duck work so much more durable than a number of others.


#10. Frequent Merganser

common mergansers

Methods to determine:

  • A pretty big duck that has an extended, slender orange invoice with a black tip and darkish eyes.
  • Breeding males have a largely white physique, a black again, and a mallard-like inexperienced head.
  • Females and non-breeding males sport a cinnamon-colored head and a grayish-white physique.


Resulting from their skinny invoice, Frequent Mergansers stand out pretty simply from most different water birds in the USA. Their favourite meals is fish, which they catch with the assistance of their serrated invoice, however in addition they bask in aquatic invertebrates corresponding to crustaceans, mollusks, bugs, and worms.

Frequent Merganser Vary Map

common merganser range map

Frequent Mergansers are so good at fishing that different birds attempt to steal from them once they floor. In actual fact, it’s widespread to see flocks of seagulls following them, hoping to grab a straightforward meal. Even Bald Eagles have been identified to rob them of their hard-earned fish!


Naturally, these geese nest in tree cavities that woodpeckers have carved out. Apparently, new child ducklings are solely a few day previous once they leap from the doorway to the bottom, at which level the mom will make them water, and so they catch all their very own meals instantly.


#11. Canada Goose

canada goose

Figuring out Traits:

  • Giant goose with an extended black neck and a distinctive white cheek patch.
  • Brown physique with a pale white chest and underparts.
  • Black toes and legs.


Canada Geese are extraordinarily widespread in the USA.


I’m certain you in all probability acknowledge these water birds, as they’re very snug dwelling round individuals and improvement. Search for them wherever there are grasses or grains to eat, corresponding to lawns, parks, farm fields, and golf programs. I do know I’ve been responsible of stepping of their “droppings” at the least just a few occasions in my very own yard as they arrive to eat corn from my feeding station. 🙂


Canada Goose Vary Map

canada goose range map

In actual fact, these geese at the moment are so plentiful, many individuals think about them pests for the quantity of waste they produce! In case you have a manicured garden that’s maintained all the way in which to the water’s edge, you have got an open invitation for these birds to go to.


These water birds are sometimes heard in the USA.

Hear for all kinds of loud honks and cackles. Hear above! I’ve even been hissed at by them for by accident approaching a nest too carefully.


#12. Snow Goose

snow goose

Figuring out Traits:

  • Most Snow Geese are all white with black tail feathers. However some people show a “blue morph,” whose heads are nonetheless white however our bodies are sooty grey.
  • Pink legs.
  • Pink invoice, which has a black patch on all sides.


Snow Geese spend their time within the continent’s northernmost areas through the breeding season, away from human civilization. Most individuals solely get the pleasure of seeing this plentiful goose in the USA once they migrate south in fall and winter.

Snow Goose Vary Map

snow goose range map


Search for these water birds in giant fields and our bodies of water. If they’re round, it’s normally not arduous to seek out them, as they’re nearly all the time seen in big flocks accompanied by plenty of honking!


In actual fact, probably the most spectacular issues you’ll watch at this time is the under video, which reveals an ENORMOUS flock of Snow Geese. It’s arduous to fathom what number of birds are touring collectively!


And as you may in all probability hear from the video above, Snow Geese are one of many noisiest waterfowl you’ll encounter in the USA. Their nasally, one-syllable honk might be heard at any time of day or night time, at any time of the yr!


And lastly, here’s a enjoyable undeniable fact that my youngsters liked to be taught. Snow Geese are prolific at pooping, and so they defecate between 6 – 15 occasions per hour. 🙂


#13. Tundra Swan

tundra swan

Figuring out Traits:

  • Giant, totally white water chicken with an extended white neck.
  • Fully black invoice.
  • Search for a yellow patch on their black facial pores and skin, positioned slightly below the attention, to appropriately determine.
  • Smaller than Trumpeter Swans.


Tundra Swans kind long-term, devoted relationships. Usually by the point they’re 2 or 3, they’ve discovered a companion. As soon as that occurs, these two birds will breed, feed, roost, and journey collectively year-round.  


The most typical sound these birds make is a “hoo-ho-hoo” bugle, with the second syllable being emphasised. (Hear under)

One other typical sound related to Tundra Swans is the whistling of their wings. In actual fact, Lewis and Clark initially referred to as them “whistling swans” once they first encountered them, and many individuals nonetheless use this identify at this time.


#14. Mute Swan

mute swans

Figuring out Traits:

  • An enormous white water chicken with an extended white neck.
  • Search for the distinctive orange invoice that encompasses a black base and knob.


Mute Swans are probably the most elegant and delightful birds you will note within the water. They’re additionally monumental and are one of many heaviest birds that may truly fly!


However surprisingly, these water birds are NOT native to the USA!


Resulting from their magnificence, Mute Swans had been imported from Europe after which launched in parks, giant estates, and zoos. Sadly, these people escaped and have established an invasive wild inhabitants.

mute swans common and invasive


Don’t be crammed by their look; these swans might be aggressive, and so they frequently assault kayakers and different individuals who get too near their nest. In addition they displace native ecosystems because of their voracious urge for food, which requires as much as 8 kilos (3.6 kg) of aquatic vegetation per day!


Regardless of their identify, these swans are usually not mute!

Whereas they’re comparatively quiet, they make a hoarse trumpet sound when defending their territory. And if they’re threatened, then count on to listen to and a wide range of barks, hisses, and snorts.


Herons, Ibises, and Cranes:


#15. Nice Blue Heron

great blue heron

Figuring out Traits:

  • A really tall and enormous water chicken, with an extended neck and a large black stripe over its eye.
  • Because the identify suggests, they’re a grayish-blue shade.
  • Lengthy feather plumes on their head, neck, and again.


Nice Blue Heron Vary Map

great blue heron range map


Nice Blue Herons are sometimes seen in the USA alongside the perimeters of rivers, lakes, and wetlands.


More often than not, they are going to both be immobile or transferring very slowly by way of the water, in search of their prey. However watch them carefully as a result of when a possibility presents itself, these herons will strike rapidly and ferociously to seize one thing to eat. Frequent meals embody fish, frogs, reptiles, small mammals, and even different birds.

Take a look at the Hen Watching HQ YouTube Channel HERE!


Nice Blue Herons seem majestic in flight, and as soon as you already know what to search for, it’s fairly simple to identify them. Watch the skies in the USA for a LARGE water chicken that folds its neck into an “S” form and has its legs trailing straight behind.


When disturbed, these giant birds make a loud “kraak” or “fraunk” sound, which may also be heard when in flight. Hear under!


#16. American Bittern

american bittern


Figuring out Traits:

  • A medium-sized, stout water chicken that may be a buffy brown shade.
  • Underparts are white with brown streaks.


Contemplate your self fortunate if you happen to can spot an American Bittern in the USA!


These herons stay in freshwater marshes and are extraordinarily secretive and completely camouflaged for his or her habitat.


American Bittern Vary Map

american bittern range map


American Bitterns are most frequently seen standing immobile, ready for a fish, invertebrate, amphibian, or reptile to wander close to. As soon as their prey will get shut sufficient, their head darts rapidly to seize the sufferer to swallow headfirst. Apparently, indigestible elements don’t move by way of their digestive system however as an alternative are regurgitated as pellets!


Sound is likely one of the finest methods to seek out these water birds in the USA!  In the course of the breeding season, pay attention for a loud, odd-sounding “oong-KA-chunk” name, which has a liquid sound. (Hear under)


#17. Inexperienced Heron

green heron

Figuring out Traits:

  • Small heron with an extended, dagger-like invoice.
  • Their again is gray-green. Head and neck are chestnut-brown, aside from the green-black cap on the top.
  • The neck is often drawn into their physique.


Inexperienced Heron Vary Map

green heron range map


This small water chicken is present in the USA in any moist habitat that features plenty of vegetation, which supplies locations for them to remain hidden. You’ll most frequently see them foraging at daybreak or nightfall, as they like to remain out of sight throughout many of the day.


The primary time I heard the “skeow” name of an alarmed Inexperienced Heron within the marsh behind my home, I had no thought what I heard as a result of it was so distinctive. However fortunately, these sounds are simple to be taught, and now I can simply determine these herons once I’m visiting most wetlands.


#18. Nice Egret

great egret

Figuring out Traits:

  • Giant, white chicken with lengthy, black legs.
  • S-curved neck and a daggerlike yellow invoice. Search for a greenish space between their eyes and the bottom of the invoice.
  • Whereas they fly, their neck is tucked in, and their lengthy legs path behind.


Look-wise, Nice Egrets are probably the most beautiful water birds present in the USA. They particularly placed on a present throughout breeding season once they develop lengthy feathery plumes, referred to as aigrettes, that are held up throughout courtship shows.


Nice Egret Vary Map

great egret range map


In actual fact, these aigrettes are so lovely, Nice Egrets had been nearly hunted to extinction within the nineteenth century as a result of these feathers made such good decorations on girls’ hats. The Nationwide Audubon Society was truly fashioned in response to assist shield these birds from being slaughtered. To this present day, the Nice Egret serves because the image for the group.


Nice Egrets don’t get any awards for his or her lovely songs. Hear for a loud sound that’s finest described as a croak (“kraak).” When shocked, you might hear a quick “cuk-cuk-cuk” alarm name. LISTEN BELOW!


#19. Cattle Egret

cattle egret

Figuring out Traits:

  • Smaller heron with a yellow invoice that usually perches with its neck drawn in.
  • Nonbreeding adults are totally white with black legs.
  • Breeding adults are white however have yellow legs and golden feathers on their head, again, and breast.

Cattle Egret Vary Map

cattle egret range map


Cattle Egrets are a bit distinctive when in comparison with different water birds in the USA. As a substitute of spending their time close to water, these birds sometimes stay in fields, the place they forage for invertebrates which were kicked up on the toes of grazing livestock. It’s additionally widespread to see them in search of ticks on the backs of cattle!


Apparently, Cattle Egrets are usually not native to North America. These herons are initially from Africa however discovered their approach right here within the Nineteen Fifties and have since unfold throughout the nation. Their vary retains slowly increasing as individuals convert land for farming and livestock.


At any time of the yr, pay attention for repeated, raspy “rick-rack” calls.


#20. Snowy Egret

snowy egret

Figuring out Traits:

  • A very white, medium-sized water chicken with a black dagger-like invoice.
  • Black legs, however their toes are yellow.
  • A yellow patch of pores and skin beneath their eye.

Snowy Egret Vary Map

snowy egret range map


These lovely herons will usually use their yellow toes to fire up water or mud to assist them uncover hiding invertebrates, amphibians, or fish. As soon as their prey has been discovered, Snowy Egrets haven’t any drawback working their meals down to complete the job!


Apparently, these water birds will breed with different heron species, corresponding to different equally sized birds like Tricolored Herons, Little Blue Herons, and Cattle Egrets. So if you happen to see a heron that you would be able to’t appear to determine, it could be a hybrid!


#21. Sandhill Crane

sandhill crane

Figuring out Traits:

  • Tall, grey chicken with an extended neck and lengthy legs.
  • White throat. Pink patch on the brow.
  • Flies with its neck stretched out and legs trailing behind.


When you go to the proper habitat, Sandhill Cranes are simple to identify in the USA. These water birds are giant, elegant, and placed on some fancy dancing whereas making an attempt to draw a mate! It’s widespread to see a breeding male pump their wings, bow, stretch their wings, and leap into the air, all within the identify of affection. 🙂


Sandhill Crane Vary Map

sandhill crane range map


Sandhill Cranes are well-known for his or her LOUD bugling calls.


In actual fact, these sounds might be heard over 2 miles away and are given each on the bottom or whereas flying. They’ve tailored extraordinarily lengthy windpipes that really coil into the sternum, which helps produce the low, loud pitch.


One factor that amazes me about Sandhill Cranes is how lengthy they stay. The oldest one on file was at the least 36 years previous, because it was banded initially in 1973 after which discovered once more in 2010!


#22. White-faced Ibis

white-faced ibis

Figuring out Traits:

  • Maroon water birds with an extended curved invoice. Wings seem metallic inexperienced and bronze in the proper mild.
  • On the base of the invoice, breeding adults have a naked patch of pink pores and skin surrounded by a white border. Pink legs.
  • Nonbreeding adults lack the pores and skin patch and white border on the face. Greenish-black legs.


At first look, these lovely wading birds seem black. However upon nearer inspection, you will note a gorgeous combination of inexperienced, bronze, and purple plumage. White-faced Ibises are present in marshes throughout the western United States, the place they are often discovered digging their lengthy invoice into mud in search of earthworms, bugs, and crayfish.

White-faced Ibis Vary Map

white faced ibis range map

These birds generally use human-made objects of their nests. Every little thing from lighters to dolls to shotgun shells have been discovered!


Whereas they’re feeding or flying, you might hear a comfortable “oink,” which is usually repeated.


#23. White Ibis

white ibis

Figuring out Traits:

  • White our bodies and pink legs. The pink invoice is lengthy and curved.
  • A naked patch of pink pores and skin behind the invoice and across the eye.
  • When flying, search for black wing ideas.


Though they are often discovered extra inland, the most effective spot to see these water birds in the USA is close to the coast. White Ibises sometimes forage collectively in giant teams in shallow wetlands in search of crustaceans and bugs.

White Ibis Vary Map

white ibis range map


These social water birds don’t prefer to be alone. Along with feeding, in addition they nest collectively in giant colonies, fly in flocks, and even take group baths!


Their name is just not very musical. Hear for a nasally honk given whereas in search of meals or flying.

Lastly, I discover it fascinating that White Ibis chicks are born with fully straight payments. Over their first two weeks of being alive, they slowly curve.



Loons, grebes, and different water birds:


#24. Frequent Loon

common loon

Figuring out Traits:

  • Lengthy our bodies with a powerful, thick dagger-like invoice. They sit low within the water.
  • Breeding adults have a black head and a black and white checkerboard again.
  • Nonbreeding adults are a lot duller and have a uniformly grayish again and head.


Frequent Loons are one among my FAVORITE water birds present in the USA.


These beautiful birds are insanely robust and quick swimmers and routinely catch fish in high-speed underwater chases. In actual fact, they’ve even tailored strong bones (most chicken bones are hole), which makes it simpler to dive since they’re much less buoyant.

Frequent Loon Vary Map

common loon range map


To assist forestall different birds from stealing their meals, Frequent Loons sometimes swallow their prize whereas nonetheless underwater. And to make sure the slippery fish doesn’t escape as soon as caught, loons have rear-facing projections inside their mouth that sink in and supply a decent grip.


Considered one of my favourite issues about these birds is the great, eerie sounds they make. Hear for a repertoire of vocalizations, which all signify one thing. LISTEN BELOW!


For instance, their tremolo calls are used when alarmed. Yodeling is given by males to announce their territories. And their well-known haunting wail calls assist mated pairs find one another.


#25. American Coot

american coot

Figuring out Traits:

  • Fully black, aside from a white sloping invoice.
  • Pink eyes.
  • Toes are NOT webbed, however as an alternative, they’re lengthy and lobed.


American Coots are distinctive water birds which can be fairly plentiful in the USA. At first look, they seem fairly like a duck, however they’re truly extra associated to Sandhill Cranes!

American Coot Vary Map

american coot range map


As a result of they don’t have webbed toes, American Coots can stroll fairly nicely on land. However don’t let this truth idiot you into pondering they will’t swim, as a result of they’re EXCELLENT swimmers. Every one among their lengthy toes has lobes of pores and skin that assist them propel by way of the water.


These water birds are fairly vocal. Hear for a wide range of squawks, croaks, and grunts.

#26. Double-crested Cormorant

double crested cormorant

Figuring out Traits:

  • Gangly water birds with an extended tail and neck.
  • Fully black aside from yellow-orange pores and skin across the base of the invoice.
  • Lengthy, hooked invoice. Eyes are a reasonably turquoise shade.


Double-crested Cormorants are extremely distinctive trying, with many individuals pondering they seem like a cross between a loon and goose. These skilled divers eat nearly solely fish, which they catch underwater with their completely tailored hooked invoice.

Double-crested Cormorant Vary Map

double crested cormorant range map


One of many BEST methods to seek out these water birds in the USA is to search for them on land with their wings unfold out. Double-crested Cormorants don’t have waterproof feathers, so after swimming, they need to dry them.


Giant colonies of those birds have a tendency to assemble in bushes close to water, the place all of them construct their nests in a small cluster of bushes. Sadly, there might be so many birds so shut collectively that their poop, I imply guano, finally ends up killing the bushes!


Double-crested Cormorants emit distinctive deep guttural grunts, which I believe sound extra like a big walrus than a chicken. Hear under!


#27. Pied-billed Grebe

pied bill grebe

Figuring out Traits:

  • Small, chunky water chicken with a brief, thick invoice and nearly no tail.
  • Principally brown. Breeding adults have a vertical black stripe on their beak.


These widespread water birds are present in freshwater marshes, lakes, and slow-moving rivers throughout the USA. They seem much like a duck from a distance, however upon nearer investigation, you will note a brief, chunky invoice and a blocky-looking head.

Pied-billed Grebe Vary Map

pied billed grebe range map


Pied-billed Grebes are glorious divers and eat varied crustaceans, amphibians, fish, and bugs. They’re nearly completely tailored for all times within the water, and you’ll seldom see them out of it. However their aquatic abilities come at a worth, as they’re extraordinarily awkward strolling on land and pretty sluggish flyers.


Pied-billed Grebes don’t even lay their eggs on land! As a substitute, they sometimes assemble a bowl-shaped nest out of useless vegetation that sit straight on floating vegetation. On a facet be aware, they’ve ADORABLE infants, which have cute black and white faces.


It may be arduous to identify one among these grebes, as they usually conceal amongst dense vegetation. Many occasions, it’s simpler to find one by listening for his or her distinct sounds. The most typical name is a loud, wailing “kuk-kuk-kuk-kaow-kaow,” which slows down on the finish.


#28. Eared Grebe

eared grebe

Figuring out Traits:

  • Small grebe with a skinny, straight, black invoice. Brilliant pink eyes.
  • Breeding adults are principally black however have lovely golden feathers behind their eyes.
  • Nonbreeding adults lack golden feathers. Principally black with a grayish neck, white cheek patches, and white sides.


Eared Grebes are usually not solely widespread water birds within the western United States, however they’re truly essentially the most plentiful grebe in all the world!


Eared Grebe Vary Map

eared grebe range map


Apparently, yearly once they molt, they’re totally flightless for round two months! However they’re such poor fliers, it doesn’t actually matter a lot, as they like to swim to get away from predators anyhow.


For a chicken that doesn’t prefer to fly and isn’t excellent at it, they certain do migrate a good distance! They journey as a lot as 3,700 miles (6000 km) to achieve their wintering feeding grounds. Apparently, on their approach south, all the inhabitants of Eared Grebes stops in a single of some salt lakes (Nice Salt Lake, Mono Lake) to fatten up on brine shrimp and alkali flies earlier than migrating farther south.


These water birds are usually quiet, aside from through the breeding season, the place it’s potential to listen to a rising whistle that ends with a hiccup (ooEEK).

#29. Brown Pelican

brown pelican

Figuring out Traits:

  • Giant water chicken with a really lengthy invoice and neck.
  • Brown pores and skin on their big throat patch.
  • Darkish grey our bodies with a white neck and pale yellow head.


It’s arduous to mistake a Brown Pelican in the USA since no different water chicken appears fairly prefer it!


Brown Pelican Vary Map

brown pelican range map


Once I’m visiting the seaside, I really like seeing the way in which that Brown Pelicans elegantly fly simply over the water’s floor. Whereas these water birds are widespread at this time, imagine it or not, they nearly went extinct within the mid twentieth century because of DDT poisoning.


These seabirds are generally seen alongside the coast as they plunge aggressively headfirst into the water. These dives are supposed to stun the encompassing fish, which then are scooped up with their monumental throat pouch and swallowed complete.


Don’t trouble listening for them, as Brown Pelicans are principally silent creatures. You could hear loud popping sounds once they defend their nests, which is constituted of them snapping their payments collectively sharply.


#30. American White Pelican

white pelican

Figuring out Traits:

  • GIANT white water chicken with an extended neck and lengthy invoice.
  • Yellow patch on the base of the invoice that wraps round their eyes.
  • Breeding adults have an odd plate that sticks up from the tip of the invoice.


American White Pelicans are arduous to overlook because of their huge dimension, and they’re one of many largest water birds in the USA. They sometimes weigh between 11 – 20 kilos (5.0 – 9.1 kg), but it surely’s their wingspan that’s most spectacular. When totally unfold, the wings measure over 9 toes (2.7 m) from tip to tip, which is the second widest in North America, behind the California Condor.


American White Pelican Vary Map

white pelican range map


These pelicans don’t dive like many different birds to catch fish however as an alternative use their big neck pouches to scoop up fish. In actual fact, people generally work collectively to herd fish to shallow areas to make them simpler to catch.


Apparently, chicks which can be nonetheless INSIDE the egg can squawk to convey discomfort if circumstances change into too scorching or too chilly! In any other case, adults are usually silent.

To be taught much more, try these different guides!

A few of the vary maps under had been generously shared with permission from The Birds of The World, printed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. I take advantage of their web site OFTEN to be taught new details about birds!

Which of those water birds have you ever seen earlier than in the USA?


Depart a remark under!


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