Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement, and Your California Privacy Rights (each updated 1/1/20). Diving Ducks. Eggs: 6 to 17. Many people other than hunters also enjoy waterfowl, observing and photographing these colorful, diverse birds. Black vultures have a much more limited sense of smell and tend to find a lot of their food by sight. Turkey vultures are partial migrants. Each year there is a peak in migration, when wetlands across the state are crowded with waterfowl. The species have distinctive, colorful plumage. Mergansers are known as “sawbills’’ and “fish ducks.” Hooded mergansers average 16 to 18 inches in length, while the red-breasted and common merganser are 20 to 25 inches. Their legs are spaced widely apart and located well back on the body, improving diving efficiency but limiting agility on land. Turkey vultures have wingspans up to 70 inches and bodies as long as 32 inches, while black vultures have shorter wingspans, up to 60 inches, and bodies as long as 26 inches. Ruddy ducks are common spring-fall migrants across Pennsylvania. Pairs remain together year-round, so long as both are alive. Mallard. A black vulture soars over ZooAmerica on March 27, 2019.Megan Lavey-Heaton | [email protected] Plumage, a striking mix of black and white, shows much seasonal variation when found in the state. Breeding habitats are lakes, beaver ponds and streams for hoodeds and rivers and streams for commons. They eat mollusks, crustaceans, aquatic insects and plants. A turkey vulture and a couple of black vultures squabble over a road-killed animal. Length, 17 to 19 inches; weight, about 2 pounds. Black vultures have fatter, more paddle-like wings and a shorter, more fanned tail. Black vultures nest on the ground under some form of cover and in abandoned buildings. Snow Goose. Common migrants through Pennsylvania during spring and fall, ring-necked ducks breed across southern Canada and the northern United States. Both groups can be found on streams, rivers, lakes and marshes. Pennsylvania is part of the Atlantic Flyway. Goldeneyes dive for crustaceans, insects, mollusks and fish. Gadwall. Fish and Wildlife Service monitors continental waterfowl numbers. Identifying the 12 Types of Ducks Dabbling Duck. Help fund crucial watchdog journalism. They do not build a nest, but lay their eggs in rocky crevices, tree cavities or hollow logs. While the worldwide population of black vultures is estimated at several million, the population of turkey vultures is thought to be more than 5 million. They fly swiftly in flocks of up to 20. They breed mainly in Canadian prairies, and winter along the United States coasts and in Mexico. Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission. These two nearly identical species are 16½ to 18 inches in length, and weigh 1½ to 2½ pounds. They breed mainly in the northern United States and southwestern Canada, and winter across the southern United States and in Mexico. The black vulture were once rare in our region, but the last few years has seen a noticeable increase in their population. Blue-winged Teal. Some ducks winter in our state, but most go farther south. These sea ducks fly in long, undulating lines, in irregular groups, or in V-shaped flocks. Diving ducks winter along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, across the southern states and in Mexico and Central America. Drought periodically dries up parts of remaining wetlands, affecting duck reproduction. Greater and Lesser Scaup. Also called a “whistler’’ for the sound of its wing-beats. Males and females form monogamous pairs that last until the female begins incubating eggs; then, the male leaves the area and usually joins a band of other males. White-fronted Goose. In Pennsylvania, the fall migration of waterfowl begins in late August, peaks in October through November, and ends in late December to early January. Incubation is by the female and takes about four weeks. Seasons and Bag Limits: Types of Ducks & Geese | Duck Identification. Revenues are used to monitor waterfowl populations through surveys and to acquire wetland habitat. To pursue waterfowl, today’s hunter is required to buy a federal duck stamp and a Pennsylvania migratory game bird license. Both species also eat plant material, ranging from grapes to pumpkins. The young birds fledge at 10-14 weeks, but require parental care for as long as 8 months. When they do flap, their wingbeats and slow and methodical. Diving ducks often spend much more of their time farther out from shore than puddle ducks. Hazards on the breeding range include drought (the canvasback does not adapt as readily to drought-related habitat changes as do other ducks); and loss of nesting habitat. They have large broad feet, fully webbed and with strongly lobed hind toes, that act as paddles. Diving ducks are agile swimmers that dive far beneath the surface of the water in search of food, including... Eider. Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site. The head of the adult turkey vulture, as the name implies, is bright red, much like the face of a wild turkey. The male has a faint brown ring around the neck (not easily seen in the field), and both sexes have a pale ring near the tip of the bill. Courtship may include ritualized drinking and preening movements, posturing and calling. Females often lay eggs in the nests of other ducks, and leave them to be incubated by the nest owners. Two species of mergansers, common and hooded (which, though taxonomically distinct from other diving ducks, are usually grouped with them due to similar ecology) breed in Pennsylvania. But, we’re likely to write them off as just another vulture or buzzard. Length, 18½ to 22 inches; weight, 2 to 3½ pounds. Several species inhabit both the Eastern and Western hemispheres. The Prairie pothole region or “duck factory” in North and South Dakota and the Canadian prairie provinces—Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta—forms the single largest breeding habitat for many duck species. Beginning in winter and before heading north, and into spring, males in their brightly-colored breeding plumage vie for females. A pair of vultures fly over ZooAmerica on March 27, 2019.Megan Lavey-Heaton | [email protected] They are uncommon spring and fall migrants through Pennsylvania. The Service divides the United States into four administrative units called flyways (they correspond to four major migration corridors for waterfowl) and gives states within the flyways guidelines for setting hunting seasons and bag limits. Turkey vultures rely on their highly developed sense of smell to find the carrion they eat. 2020-21 Digest, Waterfowl Section. Food: fish and their eggs and other aquatic animals. Also called a ‘’ring-bill.” Length 16 to 17 inches; weight, 1¼ to 2 pounds. The head of an immature turkey vulture is ashy gray. 'Destructive’ vultures invade central Pa. once again - this time at Hershey’s ZooAmerica. The group, called a brood, remains together until the ducklings can fly, usually 8 to 10 weeks after hatching. In flight, ruddy ducks skim low over the water in compact flocks. Hooded and red-breasted mergansers primarily winter along the coasts and in the southern United States: the common merganser winters in Pennsylvania, on the Great Lakes, and across the continent where the water remains open. Their eyes are open, and they can swim and feed themselves soon after hatching. Scaup eat mollusks, insects, crustaceans and aquatic plants. Head color is the easiest way to tell the two species apart, if you’re close enough and you’re looking at adult birds. Males have a long, pointed tail. Food is primarily vegetation (widgeon grass, pondweeds, bulrush seeds), midge larvae and mollusks. Pennsylvania ducks may be grouped into two types: diving ducks and dabbling or puddle ducks. Males molt first; in all species, the male’s bright nuptial plumage is replaced by drabber, less-conspicuous feathering. Ducks are vulnerable to oil spills on coastlines where they winter or breed.