The mallard or wild duck (Anas platyrhynchos) is a dabbling duck that breeds throughout the temperate and subtropical Americas, Eurasia, and North Africa, and has been introduced to New Zealand, Australia, Peru, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, the Falkland Islands, and South Africa. This duck belongs to the subfamily Anatinae of the waterfowl family Anatidae. The male birds (drakes) have a glossy green head and are grey on their wings and belly, while the females (hens or ducks) have mainly brown-speckled plumage.
Pintails are elegant, long-necked ducks with a slender profile. The tail is long and pointed, but it is much longer and more prominent on breeding males than on females and nonbreeding males. In flight, the wings are long and narrow.
Teal are very small ducks. They have short, blocky bodies and their tails sit high out of the water. The head is large, the neck is short, and the bill is relatively small.
Often called the aristocrat of ducks, the Canvasback holds its long sloping forehead high with a distinguished look. Males stand out with a rusty head and neck and a gleaming whitish body bookended in black. Females are pale brown overall, but that Canvasback head shape still gives them away.
Quiet lakes and wetlands come alive with the breezy whistle of the American Wigeon, a dabbling duck with pizzazz. Breeding males have a green eye patch and a conspicuous white crown, earning them the nickname “baldpate.” Females are brushed in warm browns with a gray-brown head and a smudge around the eye.