Do you know, there are different types of ducks species in the world? If you, as an ordinary person, see the bird in the pond and think this is the only duck present, you might be taken wrong. As interesting as it can get, there are different types of ducks varieties around us that we do not know till now. They all might look similar or not; you can quickly identify them if you get to know the varieties and species.

Today, let us learn all about the kinds of ducks and species here.

Image Source: Freepik

Ducks, Characteristics, and More:

The duck species scientific name is anas platyrhyonchos. Most of the ducks are descendants of mallards. The name for these creatures came from the Latin word platyrhynchos, which implies a flat-nosed creature similar to a duck’s bill. All the ducks belong to the Anatidae family and belong to a class of Aves.

The ducks come with a webbed form of feet that help them to swim in lakes and ponds. The long and flat bill nose allows them to scoop up vegetation, food items, and insects. The size of the duck depends and varies according to its different types and kinds. They are generally around 21-26 inches long and can weigh up to 3.5 pounds. The most notable ducks are Muscovy types of ducks, which live in North America, are approximately 30 inches long, and weigh 15 pounds.

Classifying Ducks: How are They Different from Geese and Swan

Most of us tend to get confused about the differences and classifications between types of ducks, geese, and swans. All three of them belong to the Anatidae family but are different animals altogether. Geese are larger than ducks in general, with the more elongated and extended body, legs, and neck. Ducks, on the other hand, are smaller. There are around 29 species of Goose; however, over 90 varieties of Ducks in total.

Swans and ducks, on the other hand, look in most cases similar. Both have shorter legs, dense plumage, and look so similar to those who cannot differentiate. However, the only differentiation can be in terms of the neck, for instance, where a swan has a comparatively longer neck.

See More: Most Popular Types of Eagles

Main Species of Duck in the World:

One can mainly classify the ducks between domestic ducks, wild and hybrid varieties. Let us know briefly about them before we get into understanding the overall popular types of ducks.

Domestic Ducks:

As the name suggests, one can understand that domestic ducks are used as pets or domesticated to keep them at their respective homes. These types of domestic pet ducks are raised either as pets, or for eggs and meat, or purely for ornamental value around farms or gardens.

Wild Duck:

The types of wild ducks are not domesticated variants; they are used to grow outdoors. They are often also called mallards and have hefty bodies when compared to domestic variants.

Hybrid Ducks:

The hybrids between two genera of ducks, most probably between domestic and wild variety, are these species. However, not all the types of duck birds are possible to go hybrid; only a few particular species and varieties can possibly do this. American Pekins, Muscovy ducks, are the most popular ones that are used to do hybrids.

The Duck Varieties, Most Popular Types, and More:

Now let us get going and explore the most popular types of duck breeds and names with pictures that are famous in the world.

1. Dabbling Duck:

Image Source: Freepik

The Dabbling duck prefers to feed in shallow water by dabbling, and that is how they got their name. They are in search of plants and insects in the mud. They do not dive underwater for their food; legs are always placed forward to their body so that they can feed both on land and in shallow water. They have flat and extensive bills that help them in feeding. The legs are bright orange or reddish with a yellowish shade, which can be noticed when dabbling. There are around 50 varieties of types of dabbling ducks of this type.

2. Diving Duck:

Image Source: Freepik

Diving ducks, as the name suggests, are swimmers that can dive very far and beneath from the surface of the water. The types of diving ducks search for food beneath the water around diving and have fish, aquatic plants, and insects. They always prefer to stay in the water than in the land. They find it very hard to walk on the land. The diving ducks have very bright colors, primarily grey or brown shades. Scaups and redheads are the popular diving ducks.

3. Eider:

Image Source: Freepik

Eiders are wonderful kinds of ducks, which belong to the sea ducks types. Hence, they are only present around Arctic and northern habitats and regions. Their beautiful plumage, stunning looks are what distinguishes them from others. They have dense plumage and insulating properties to protect them from the harsh cold. The most common and popular type here is King Eider and Stellers.

4. Goldeneye:

Image Source: Freepik

One may guess from the name – Goldeneye that these ducks have beautiful and spectacular eyes. They have bright yellow eyes and are characterized by round heads with shiny looks. They have black and white color plumage and are popular in that they nest near tree holes. These ducks are found popularly around Alaska, Canada, and Gulf coasts.

5. Merganser:

Image Source: Freepik

Merganser is cute and pretty tiny, slim ducks. They come with narrow and very serrated bills and look very little. These ducks mainly prey on fish and similar aquatic small creatures. They have hooded and beautiful markings on them. Most mergansers types of ducks form large flocks and move together.

6. Perching Duck:

Image Source: Freepik

Perching ducks mainly belong to wet woodlands and have webbed feet with talons. As the name suggests, these ducks are mostly perching around in trees and take trees as the perfect place for nesting. They eat insects and small creatures around them, and their long claws toes help them stay on branches and trees for a longer time. These types of ducks have darker and brighter colors and are primarily present near Peru, Uruguay, and Mexico.

7. Scoter:

Image Source: Shutterstock

The scooters are easy to recognize due to their bulky body and appearance. These are sea ducks that have swollen kind of very dark plumage, with patterned bills. Most scooters are bright in color and come in plain colors. They are present around northern regions around marine habitats and are dominating in nature. The velvet scoters, black and white-winged ones, are most common amongst them.

8. Sea Duck:

Image Source: Shutterstock

Sea ducks are marine ducks. As the name suggests, and one may guess, the sea ducks are present around coastal regions and inland areas. These types are migrant birds and have bulky appearances too. These ducks have inbuilt specialized salt glands to tolerate the coastal areas and being present in saltwater areas. These ducks feed on fishes, mollusks, and others inside water.

9. Stiff Tail:

Image Source: Shutterstock

The stiff tails come with more significant spiky kinds of tails that they specialize in swimming. They are good swimmers, and the docks have compact, lightweight bodies for easy movements. These ducks are also birds dominating or showing territorial display, especially with other competing ducks. They have colorful bills, and the most popular stiff tail ducks include blue-billed duck.

10. Teal Ducks:

Image Source: Freepik

Teals are among the most beautiful duck species most of us have come across. They are bright-colored ducks with unique coloration and plumage. These types of teal ducks prefer to stay around water surface only and don’t prefer to deep swim or go inside, except rarely and occasionally. These ducks eat aquatic plants, vegetation, insects, and snails. The popular teal ducks include silver teal, blue-winged, and green-winged teal, and Eurasian teals. Most of these are present around temperate island areas.

11. Harlequin Duck:

Image Source: Freepik

The harlequin ducks are smaller size ones that are present in and around sea and island regions. These types of ducks have colorfully dressed plumage and reside in coastal waters, fast-moving streams, rivers in and around Northern America, Iceland, green land, and other surrounding regions. Most Harlequin ducks have a dark bluish or grey shaded head, with a crescent patch on them. They feed on larvae, insects, mollusks.

See More: Famous Goat Breeds & Types

12. Long-tailed Duck:

Image Source: Freepik

Long-tailed ducks are often considered the most excellent swimmers in their species and family. They have set a record to swim as much as 200 feet below the surface water in the ocean, hunting for food. The long tail duck has two extra-long central tails, which is an essential characteristic for this variety. They mostly spend their time underwater, then on the surface. They eat crabs, mollusks, seeds, grass, small fish, and insects. Most long-tailed ducks are around coastal water in the UK and Northern America. They mostly have white and black plumage.

13. Mandarin Duck:

Image Source: Freepik

These ducks come in bright, beautiful colors, with long bills. They are medium-sized ducks with stunning plumage and looks. They are gentle and feed on plants and insects in most cases. The ducks are present in lakes and parks, in and around trees. However, Mandarin types of ducks mainly belong to the Eastern part of Asia, but now can also be found around the US, England, British, and Ireland regions.

14. Pink Eared Duck:

Image Source: Shutterstock

These are, however, must remember ducks with unusual looks, hailing from the regions around Australia. They have a bright flat color on the sides of the head, with the square-shaped bill. As the name suggests, the Pink-eared duck doesn’t have that shade in and around head, as many assume. These ducks feed on microscopic plants and animals.

15. Whistling Duck:

Image Source: Freepik

Also called as the tree ducks, the whistling ducks come around eight species, all of them with long legs and neck compared to other peers. They are popular as aggressive birds. They nest in hollow trees or other empty ground sites. Most of them feed primarily on plants and water organisms such as small fish and worms.

See More: Different Types of Ants in the World

Interesting Facts About Ducks:

As much as ducks are among the beautiful birds and varieties, do you know some interesting facts about them?

  • Ducks have waterproof feathers. Despite staying underwater or on the surface of the water, their feathers always remain dry and beautiful.
  • Duck eggs need only around 28 days to hatch. It is among significantly less period than other birds.
  • A male duck is called a drake, and a female duck is a duck. Did you know this?
  • Every continent except Antarctica has different species of ducks.
  • If well cared for, ducks can live as long as 20 years too.

We never knew that so many different types of ducks and species exist in our world. These ducks are interesting, with several of them having beautiful looks and plumage and unique characteristics. Let us know your thoughts too! What do you think about these duck varieties?


This is exclusively a guide about types of ducks for informative purposes only. The opinions and overview in this article are provided from various sources across the web. The author does not guarantee or promise any accuracy of facts provided in this article.


About Yashasvi

Yashasvi developed a deep passion for writing ever since she was completed her Master’s in Mass Communication and Journalism from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam and has chosen a career that is driven by creativity. A Parenting expert who believes in communicating effectively with a personal touch, she writes about pregnancy, baby care, lifestyle, and just about anything else.