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Title: Texas Waterfowl Identification Guide
Author: Council, Central Flyway
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                     WATERFOWL IDENTIFICATION GUIDE


                              Published by
                       The Central Flyway Council


                            COUNCIL MEMBERS

  Colorado
  Kansas
  Montana
  Nebraska
  New Mexico
  North Dakota
  Oklahoma
  South Dakota
  Texas
  Wyoming


                            Acknowledgments

The Central Flyway Council wishes to thank the Atlantic Flyway Council
for making available the illustrations and most of the text of this
booklet.

The Council also wishes to thank the many persons who assisted in
preparation of this publication, particularly the Vermont Fish and Game
Commission and Alan R. Munro, the artist.

                           PRINTED IN U.S.A.
             BY THE LANE PRESS. INC. · BURLINGTON, VERMONT



                                CONTENTS


  Council Members                                                       1
  Acknowledgements                                                      2
  Foreword                                                              5
  Identification                                                        6
  Individual Problems                                                   7
  Nonhunting Enjoyments                                                 8
  Research and Management                                               8
  Flyway Council Approach                                               9
  Your Responsibility                                                  10
  Parts of a Duck                                                      11
  Whistling Swan                                                       12
  Canada Goose                                                         13
  Snow Goose                                                           14
  Ross Goose                                                           15
  White-Fronted Goose                                                  16
  Blue Goose                                                           17
  Puddle or Dabbling Duck Characteristics                              18
  Mallard                                                              19
  Black Duck                                                           20
  Mottled Duck                                                         21
  New Mexico Duck                                                      22
  Gadwall                                                              23
  Pintail                                                              24
  Green-Winged Teal                                                    25
  Blue-Winged Teal                                                     26
  Cinnamon Teal                                                        27
  American Widgeon                                                     28
  Shoveler                                                             29
  Wood Duck                                                            30
  Harlequin Duck                                                       31
  Diving Duck Characteristics                                          32
  Redhead                                                              33
  Ring-Necked Duck                                                     34
  Canvasback                                                           35
  Greater Scaup                                                        36
  Lesser Scaup                                                         37
  Common Goldeneye                                                     38
  Barrow’s Goldeneye                                                   39
  Bufflehead                                                           40
  White-Winged Scoter                                                  41
  Fulvous Tree Duck                                                    42
  Black-Bellied Tree Duck                                              43
  Ruddy Duck                                                           44
  Hooded Merganser                                                     45
  Common Merganser                                                     46
  Double-Crested Cormorant                                             47
  Common Loon                                                          48
  Horned Grebe                                                         49
  Pied-Billed Grebe                                                    49
  Western Grebe                                                        50
  American Coot                                                        51
  King Rail                                                            52
  Clapper Rail                                                         52
  Virginia Rail                                                        53
  Sora                                                                 53
  Common Snipe (Jacksnipe)                                             54
  Waterfowler’s Code                                                   55



                                FOREWORD


The North American continent, at the time of its discovery and early
settlement, had a waterfowl population which was one of its many
wonders. So far as the evidence shows, no equal area of the earth’s
surface ever supported such vast numbers of so many different ducks and
geese, and this situation persisted to a time within the memory of
living men. Long after the end of early settlement on this continent,
hunting was free and harvest unlimited. But as the advancing tide of
settlement reached into the north-central prairie states and provinces
in the final years of the Nineteenth Century, radical changes began.
From that time on North American waterfowl habitat began to deteriorate.
Literally millions of acres of former nesting ground in the north have
now been drained and put to the plow. South of the breeding range, not
only agriculture, but industrialization and urbanization also have
steadily reduced available resting and wintering grounds.

The progressive decline in waterfowl numbers which followed these
changes in land use led eventually to the scientific management of
waterfowl. Spring shooting and market hunting were abolished in the
second decade of this century. Ten years later the federal government
undertook detailed regulation of migratory waterfowl so the annual
harvest could be made proportional to the annual production. This was
accomplished through collective effort by State, Provincial and Federal
agencies of Canada, Mexico and the United States to obtain scientific
information. In keeping with biological principles, most of the
restrictions on bag limit and means of taking have been used with some
flexibility.

Throughout the decline of all waterfowl populations some species have
been underharvested. These species have declined in about the same
proportion as those species on which the bulk of the harvest occurred.
The Central Flyway Council feels that a refinement in waterfowl
management is possible by directing hunting pressure on these previously
underharvested species. This goal can only be accomplished through a
knowledge of species identification by the waterfowl hunter. This
booklet is a start in that direction.

In recent years most waterfowl populations have made encouraging
recoveries from the low point of the early 1930’s, when disastrous
drouths, drainage and changing land use patterns took their toll. Still
drainage continues, and industrialization is further reducing the
habitat. Hunting continues as a major sport, however, maximum
utilization of all species must be accomplished if hunting is to be
fostered at a reasonable level of freedom and enjoyment.

The very future of duck hunting depends upon a more effective
partnership between regulatory agencies and the many thousands of
gunners whom they serve. The federal agency is charged by treaty and law
with husbandry of the waterfowl resource. The State agencies assist in
the responsibility. However, they need the help of all sportsmen, and
particularly they need the understanding help of waterfowlers who know
their birds and who keep abreast of current plans for management. To
foster this essential cooperation between agencies and gunners is a
primary purpose of this booklet.


                             Identification

Identification of birds in the field, and particularly on the wing, as
ducks and geese are usually seen over decoys, is easier than appears at
first try. The trick is to note, in addition to shape and approximate
size, the general arrangement of light and dark areas in the plumage,
for nearly every species has its own distinctive pattern. With practice,
the eye can be trained to pick out this pattern at a glance, and within
a short time recognition becomes automatic. The illustrations which
follow, one for each important species of Central Flyway waterfowl, make
use of this practice of “pattern recognition” in the two or more flying
birds at the top of the page. Actually in many cases recognition by
flight pattern and flight characteristics will soon become evident.

In each drawing of ducks the flying female leads, with the drake
following, for this is the usual order in a mated pair during winter,
and spring. On the lower part of each page are shown enlarged heads,
adult male on the left, female on the right, with an immature head added
when the difference is substantial, or with certain details which
further aid identification when the bird is in hand. All ducks, both
flying pairs and heads, are drawn in direct proportion to each other,
but geese, because of their larger size, are reduced one third from the
duck proportion.

Drawings of geese show only a single enlarged head on each plate because
male and female geese are alike in color pattern. Finally, some birds
which are not “waterfowl” in the strict sense of the word, but are
nevertheless often seen, are shown in the last few illustrations. Some
of them (loon, grebe, and cormorant), although protected at all times,
are included because they are often mistakenly shot for waterfowl.
Others (rails, coot, and snipes) are included because they occupy
wet-land habitat along with ducks.


                          Individual Problems

Although “pattern recognition” simplifies the problem of identification
for the waterfowler, there are still several complications to be
considered. Of these, the most troublesome by far is the matter of
moults. The adult drakes of most species of ducks, very soon after the
hens begin to incubate eggs, moult the bright body-feathers of their
breeding dress and assume an “eclipse” plumage which resembles the
year-round coloration of the female. This dull plumage, serving as a
protective factor during the wing-moult which follows, is retained until
the new flight feathers are fully developed. By September a second
body-moult is under way by which these old drakes assume the bright
courting plumage of late fall and winter. During the same period, the
young males of the year, whose juvenile plumage likewise resembles the
female dress, are also assuming the adult plumage. Following December 1
most difficulties of identification by reason of the moult are resolved,
but in early fall the hunter may be puzzled by some of the transition
plumages noted on birds in his bag. Identification during this period
may appear extremely difficult, but it is well to remember that wing
patterns remain virtually unchanged regardless of stage of the moult.

The remaining problems of identification require only brief mention for
they appear but rarely. In the first place, this booklet includes all
species of ducks and geese which occur in numbers in any part of the
Central Flyway, but omits others which may be occasional visitors.
Second, hybrids are rather frequent among waterfowl, and some are
extremely puzzling. In such special cases as these your local wildlife
manager or biologist may be able to help.

The following publications contain further information for the hunter
interested in additional facts of natural history, distribution and
description:

    Kortright, “Ducks, Geese and Swans of North America”
    Peterson, “A Field Guide to the Birds”
    Pough, “Audubon Water Bird Guide”


                         Nonhunting Enjoyments

For the nonhunter—and many avid outdoorsmen prefer to watch rather than
shoot—this guide to waterfowl can provide enjoyment beyond the simple
pleasure of seeing ducks and geese. Most of us remember seeing some
“oldtimer” identify flights or singles or rafts of birds at what seemed
impossible distances. The ability to do this does not really stem from
some mystic communion with the birds. Rather, through such a booklet as
this the waterfowling layman can develop the same powers in himself. For
the cost of a little concentrated effort he can gain great personal
satisfaction and the increased understanding that comes from resolving
“ducks” into the wide variety of individual species they really are.

Further, some knowledge of waterfowl distribution, annual abundance and
the approximate source and destination of the ducks and geese he hunts,
will often help the waterfowler understand the overall picture of
waterfowl management. For both administrative and biological purposes of
waterfowl management, the United States is divided into four flyways—the
Atlantic, the Mississippi, the Pacific, and the one for which this
booklet is written, the Central. Each flyway has its own segment of the
waterfowl population, subject to different conditions and pressures than
the populations of other flyways, and therefore is administered as a
separate unit. In general this is a sound premise, but it must not be
considered too rigid. Since the flyway principle is in part an
administrative device, it is important principally in fall and winter
when most North American waterfowl are within the United States. As the
wintering populations begin to move northward in the spring, many
species disperse throughout the nesting grounds of the northern states
and Canada. Much overlapping of the populations from various flyways in
which the birds wintered occurs.


                        Research and Management

Methods developed over the years and applied systematically supply
information which is necessary to intelligent management. Breeding pair
and brood surveys indicate the distribution of nesting populations, and
their success from year to year in hatching and raising their broods of
young. The banding of waterfowl, carefully aged, sexed, and released,
gives specific information on the travels of individual birds, on
mortality, and on some phases of hunting pressure. Periodic air-counts
in late summer and fall serve to measure, in a rough way, the
distribution of different species during southward migration, and the
rate of movement. Hunter-bag checks, carried out in the field during the
shooting season, complement fall counts with regard to distribution at
given points. A post-season sampling of hunter success, by mail,
supplies data on additional aspects of hunting pressure, and gives an
index of total kill. Finally, the annual winter count indicates the
distribution and relative size of populations remaining after the
shooting season ends. In combination, these methods are steadily
increasing our knowledge of North American waterfowl, and in particular
are providing the sort of “running inventory” which is the first
requirement for intelligent management of this resource.

The Central Flyway Council is the clearing house for coordinated
planning in this Flyway. It is a delegate organization, including in its
membership administrative and technical representatives from the fish
and game departments of all states and provinces in the flyway. A Flyway
Representative has been assigned from the Fish and Wildlife Service.
This group is concerned with all phases of waterfowl research and
management in the flyway. The Central Flyway Council provides for an
effective interchange of information between member agencies and assists
in the coordination and integration of flyway management programs. These
purposes have been furthered by regular meetings for the open discussion
of flyway problems.


                        Flyway Council Approach

In early 1953, the Council and the Fish and Wildlife Service, acting
jointly, adopted a flyway program which has been expanded and improved
as factual information and experience dictate. This program outlines
objectives and suggests methods and priorities for accomplishment. State
game departments now pattern their activities around the flyway program.

Extending the cooperative idea, the Council has joined with
corresponding organizations from the other flyways to form the National
Waterfowl Council, which annually participates in the official
discussion of continental and flyway management problems and
regulations. From their inception, the flyway councils have been
successful in promoting understanding and teamwork so necessary for the
perpetuation of the waterfowl resource.


                          Your Responsibility

As an individual reader of this booklet, you have a part to play in the
essential partnership between agencies and waterfowlers. Your part may
be small and may take various forms, depending on the circumstances, but
certainly it is there. Perhaps, having sent in one or two waterfowl
bands in the past and having experienced the initial novelty of hearing
where your birds came from, you now forget to report them. The next time
you have this choice between reporting or forgetting a band, remember
that its prompt recovery, with full data, might be the clue to some
missing fact to improve your future gunning.

Hunter bag checks indicate crippling losses in the Central Flyway run to
an average of about one quarter of the total kill. In certain marshes,
early in the season, crippling can greatly exceed the one quarter loss.
Shooting at birds on the fringe of effective killing range is a
crippling practice and, moreover, as you probably know from observation
is contagious. The usual effect of one “sky shooter” in a marsh is to
force other gunners nearby to attempt impossible shots which increase
crippling losses and soon ruin shooting for everybody. Controlling such
practices lies solely in the hands of individual gunners. With
large-gauge guns of modified bore, the shot-pattern that will produce
kills should be consistent up to forty yards, a distance well within
capabilities of the average gunner to hold and compute necessary lead.
Successful duck shooting is a matter of good judgment. To avoid errors
in judgment drive stakes in front of your blind at distances of thirty
and forty yards to indicate safe killing range. Hold your fire until the
feet of an incoming duck can be seen distinctly, for only then will the
bird be in range. Good sportsmanship in duck blinds and marshes is
equally as important as remaining friendly with your home neighbors.
Train a good retrieving dog, and add to your day’s pleasure by watching
him at work on downed birds.

Above all, remember that the future of waterfowling is partly in your
hands—that your good sportsmanship and cooperation are as necessary to
the work of the Central Flyway Council and its member agencies as their
activities are to you.


                            PARTS OF A DUCK

    [Illustration: PARTS OF A DUCK]

  CROWN
  FOREHEAD
  OCCIPUT
  CHEEK
  NAPE
  SIDE NECK
  BACK
  SCAPULARS
  RUMP
  CHIN
  THROAT
  FORENECK
  TERTIALS
  UPPER TAIL COVERTS
  BREAST
  TAIL
  UNDER TAIL COVERTS
  BELLY
  SIDE

  LESSER COVERTS
  SPURIOUS WING
  GREATER COVERTS
  PRIMARIES
  SECONDARIES
  TERTIALS

  TIBIA
  SCUTELLATE TARSUS
  HEEL
  HIND TOE
  TOE
  WEB

  NAIL
  LAMELLAE
  LOWER MANDIBLE
  UPPER MANDIBLE
  NOSTRIL
  NAIL
  MALE
  FEMALE


                             WHISTLING SWAN
                          (Cygnus columbianus)

    [Illustration: WHISTLING SWAN (Cygnus columbianus)]

  ENTIRE PLUMAGE WHITE
  IMMATURE BIRDS HAVE GRAY-WHITE PLUMAGE WITH DULL PINKISH BILL
  YELLOW SPOT
  BLACK BILL
  SEXES ARE SIMILAR
  CARRIES NECK HELD ERECT
  HEAD OF MUTE SWAN SHOWING BLACK KNOB AND ORANGE BILL


                              CANADA GOOSE
                          (Branta canadensis)

    [Illustration: CANADA GOOSE (Branta canadensis)]

  WHITE RUMP
  BROWNISH GRAY BODY AND WINGS
  BLACK BILL
  WHITE PATCH
  BLACK NECK
  ALL GEESE HAVE RETICULATE TARSUS
  SEXES ARE SIMILAR


                               SNOW GOOSE
                           (Chen hyperborea)

    [Illustration: SNOW GOOSE (Chen hyperborea)]

  WHITE BODY
  BLACK WING TIPS
  PINK FEET
  LIGHT PINK BILL
  BLACK “GRINNING” PATCH
  FEATHERS OF CHEEKS, BREAST AND BELLY OFTEN STAINED WITH RUSTY BROWN
  IMMATURE BIRDS TEND TOWARD A MORE GRAY PLUMAGE
  SEXES ARE SIMILAR


                               ROSS GOOSE
                              (Chen rossi)

    [Illustration: ROSS GOOSE (Chen rossi)]

  ABOUT SIZE OF MALLARD
  ADULT
    WARTY PROTUBERANCES ON BILL.
    NO BLACK “GRINNING” PATCH
    PINKISH BILL
  IMMATURE


                          WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE
                           (Anser albifrons)

    [Illustration: WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE (Anser albifrons)]

  ADULT
    BARRED BELLY
  IMMATURE
    YELLOWISH BILL
    PALE BREAST
  WHITE PATCH
  BROWNISH FOREPARTS
  YELLOWISH LEGS


                               BLUE GOOSE
                          (Chen caerulescens)

    [Illustration: BLUE GOOSE (Chen caerulescens)]

  ADULT
    PINK FEET, IMMATURE DUSKY FEET
  IMMATURE
  PINK BILL
  WHITE NAIL
  BLACK “GRINNING” PATCH
  WHITE HEAD AND NECK
  SEXES ARE SIMILAR


                PUDDLE OR DABBLING DUCK CHARACTERISTICS
                               (Anatinae)

    [Illustration: PUDDLE OR DABBLING DUCK CHARACTERISTICS (Anatinae)]

  TIP UP TO FEED, RARELY DIVE
  LEGS PLACED NEAR CENTER OF BODY
  GENERALLY HAVE METALLIC SPECULUM
  USUALLY SWIM WITH TAIL HELD CLEAR OF WATER
  FOOT SMALLER THAN IN DIVING DUCKS
    HIND TOE NOT LOBED
  SPRING INTO AIR ON TAKE OFF


                                MALLARD
                          (Anas platyrhynchos)

    [Illustration: MALLARD (Anas platyrhynchos)]

  WHITE TAIL
  WHITE BORDERS ON PURPLE SPECULUM
  WHITISH TAIL
  ♂
    GREEN HEAD
    YELLOW BILL
    WHITE COLLAR
    RUDDY BREAST
  ♀
    ORANGE BILL MOTTLED WITH BLACK
    MOTTLED BROWN


                               BLACK DUCK
                            (Anas rubripes)

    [Illustration: BLACK DUCK (Anas rubripes)]

  YELLOWISH-BROWN HEAD
  DUSKY-BROWN BODY
  WHITE WING-LININGS
  IMMATURE HAS STREAKED BREAST
  PURPLE SPECULUM
  IMMATURE SIDE BREAST FEATHER
  ADULT MALE SIDE BREAST FEATHER
  ADULT FEMALE SIDE BREAST FEATHER
  ♂
    BILL COLOR VARIES FROM SOLID GREENISH YELLOW TO HIGH CHROME YELLOW
          DEPENDING UPON AGE AND SEASON KILLED
  ♀
    FEMALE BILL SHOWS VARYING AMOUNT OF BLACK SPOTTING


                              MOTTLED DUCK
                            (Anas fulvigula)

    [Illustration: MOTTLED DUCK (Anas fulvigula)]

  TRAILING EDGE OFTEN WHITE
  LIGHT TAN HEAD
  PURPLE SPECULUM
  FEET ORANGE
  CHIN AND THROAT PALE BUFF (WITH OR) WITHOUT STREAKING
  ♂
    DARK BASE OF BILL
    BILL YELLOW, DARK NAIL
  ♀
    DARK SPOT (often absent)
    VARIABLE SPOTTING


                            NEW MEXICAN DUCK
                       (Anas diazi novimexicana)

    [Illustration: NEW MEXICAN DUCK (Anas diazi novimexicana)]

  TAIL DARK.
  SPECULUM BLUISH PURPLE TO GREEN. WHITE EDGE ABOVE SOMETIMES ABSENT.
  FEET ORANGE.
  ♂
    BILL YELLOW, DARK NAIL.
    CHIN PINKISH BUFF WITHOUT STREAKING.
  ♀
    BILL DARK OLIVE OR ORANGE, DARK ON RIDGE.
    SMALL SPOTS NEAR BASE LIMITED OR ABSENT.


                                GADWALL
                            (Anas strepera)

    [Illustration: GADWALL (Anas strepera)]

  BLACK RUMP
  WHITE BELLY
  WHITE SPECULUM
  WHITE BELLY
  BOTH SEXES HAVE YELLOW FEET
  ♂
    BILL BLUISH BLACK
  ♀
    BILL DULL ORANGE VARYING SPOTTING


                                PINTAIL
                              (Anas acuta)

    [Illustration: PINTAIL (Anas acuta)]

  WHITE STRIPE
  CINNAMON-BUFF BORDER
  POINTED TAIL
  WHITE STRIPE
  ♂
    BROWN HEAD
    GRAY BILL
  ♀
    GRAY BILL
    MOTTLED BROWN


                           GREEN-WINGED TEAL
                          (Anas carolinensis)

    [Illustration: GREEN-WINGED TEAL (Anas carolinensis)]

  GREEN SPECULUM
  WHITE BELLY
  ♂
    BROWN HEAD
    GREEN PATCH
    WHITE MARK
  ♀


                            BLUE-WINGED TEAL
                             (Anas discors)

    [Illustration: BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Anas discors)]

  CHALKY-BLUE PATCH
  GREEN SPECULUM
  ♂
    MALE HAS DARK BELLY
    WHITE CRESCENT
  ♀
    FEMALE HAS LIGHT BELLY


                             CINNAMON TEAL
                           (Anas cyanoptera)

    [Illustration: CINNAMON TEAL (Anas cyanoptera)]

  CHALKY-BLUE PATCH
  GREEN SPECULUM
  ♂
    UNIFORM CINNAMON BODY COLOR
  ♀
    FEMALE HAS LIGHT BELLY


                      AMERICAN WIDGEON (Baldpate)
                           (Mareca americana)

    [Illustration: AMERICAN WIDGEON (Baldpate) (Mareca americana)]

  WHITE PATCH
  WHITE BELLY
  GREEN SPECULUM
  WHITE BORDER
  ♂
    WHITE CROWN
    GREEN PATCH
    GRAY BILL, BLACK TIPPED
    WHITE PATCH
  ♀


                                SHOVELER
                           (Spatula clypeata)

    [Illustration: SHOVELER (Spatula clypeata)]

  CHALKY-BLUE PATCH
  GREEN SPECULUM BORDERED WITH WHITE
  ♂
    IRIDESCENT GREENISH BLACK
    LARGE SHOVEL BILL
    CONSPICUOUS BRISTLE-LIKE LAMELLAE
    WHITE BREAST
    CHESTNUT SIDES AND BELLY
  ♀


                               WOOD DUCK
                              (Aix sponsa)

    [Illustration: WOOD DUCK (Aix sponsa)]

  WHITE BORDER
  WHITE BELLY
  SILVERY BORDERED
  ♂
    RED IRIS
    RED AND WHITE BILL
    ADULT MALE HIGHLY COLORED
      ECLIPSE AND IMMATURE MALE
    WHITE PATCH
  ♀
    CONSPICUOUS WHITE EYE-RING
    CRESTED


                             HARLEQUIN DUCK
                      (Histrionicus histrionicus)

    [Illustration: HARLEQUIN DUCK (Histrionicus histrionicus)]

  WHITE MARKS
  ♂
    STOCKY, DARK, SMALL BILL
  ♀
    FEMALE HAS SMALLER BILL
    PLAIN DARK BODY


                      DIVING DUCK CHARACTERISTICS
                              (Aythyinae)

    [Illustration: DIVING DUCK CHARACTERISTICS (Aythyinae)]

  LEGS SET NEAR REAR OF BODY
  DIVE COMPLETELY UNDER WATER TO SECURE FEED
  SPECULUM GENERALLY DULL, LACKS IRIDESCENCE
  USUALLY SWIM WITH TAIL HELD CLOSE TO WATER
  HIND TOE LOBED, FOOT LARGE
  ON TAKE OFF PATTER ALONG SURFACE FOR SOME DISTANCE


                                REDHEAD
                           (Aythya americana)

    [Illustration: REDHEAD (Aythya americana)]

  GRAY BACK
  GRAY WING STRIPE
  ♂
    CHESTNUT HEAD
    HIGH ABRUPT FOREHEAD
    BLUE BILL, BLACK TIP
    BLACK BREAST
  ♀
    LIGHT PATCH


                            RING-NECKED DUCK
                           (Aythya collaris)

    [Illustration: RING-NECKED DUCK (Aythya collaris)]

  BLACK BACK
  GRAY WING STRIPE
  ♂
    DISTINCT CREST
    CONSPICUOUS BILL RING
    CHESTNUT COLLAR
    BLACK BREAST
    WHITE PATCH
  ♀
    WHITE EYE RING
    LIGHT PATCH


                               CANVASBACK
                          (Aythya valisineria)

    [Illustration: CANVASBACK (Aythya valisineria)]

  WHITE BACK
  GRAY WING STRIPE
  ♂
    CHESTNUT HEAD
    LONG SLOPING PROFILE, BLACK BILL
    BLACK BREAST
  ♀
    GRAY BACK
    BROWN BREAST


                             GREATER SCAUP
                            (Aythya marila)

    [Illustration: GREATER SCAUP (Aythya marila)]

  DARK RUMP
  WHITE WING STRIPE EXTENDING INTO PRIMARIES
  WHITE BELLY
  NAIL OF BILL 7.0-9.0 MILLIMETERS WIDE
  ♂
    GRAY BACK
    BLACK HEAD WITH GREENISH TINGE
    BROAD BLUE BILL
    BLACK BREAST
    WHITE FLANKS
  ♀
    BROWN BODY AND HEAD
    DISTINCT WHITE MASK


                              LESSER SCAUP
                            (Aythya affinis)

    [Illustration: LESSER SCAUP (Aythya affinis)]

  DARK RUMP
  WHITE WING STRIPE DOES NOT EXTEND INTO PRIMARIES
  WHITE BELLY
  NAIL OF BILL 5.0-6.5 MILLIMETERS WIDE
  ♂
    SLIGHT CREST
    GRAY BACK
    BLACK HEAD WITH PURPLISH TINGE
    BROAD BLUE BILL
    BLACK BREAST
    LIGHT FLANKS
  ♀
    BROWN BODY AND HEAD
    DISTINCT WHITE MASK


                            COMMON GOLDENEYE
                          (Bucephala clangula)

    [Illustration: COMMON GOLDENEYE (Bucephala clangula)]

  WHITE WING PATCHES
  ♂
    GREENISH BLACK HEAD
    LIGHT IRIS
    DISTINCT WHITE PATCH
    WHITE BREAST AND BELLY
  2ND SEASON MALE WITH BROWN HEAD AND FAINT WHITE PATCH
  ♀
    BROWN HEAD
    ORANGE TIP IN BREEDING PLUMAGE
    GRAY BACK AND FLANKS
    WHITE NECK
    GRAY BREAST
    WHITE BELLY
  1ST SEASON MALE IS SIMILAR IN COLORATION TO FEMALE BUT WITH HEAVIER
          BODY AND MORE RUGGED HEAD AND BILL


                           BARROW’S GOLDENEYE
                         (Bucephala islandica)

    [Illustration: BARROW’S GOLDENEYE (Bucephala islandica)]

  WHITE WING PATCHES
  ♂
    PURPLISH BLACK HEAD
    WHITE CRESCENT PATCH
    BLACK BACK
    BLACK BILL
    WHITE BREAST AND BELLY
  ♀
    LIGHT IRIS
    GRAY BACK AND FLANKS
    ORANGE TIP IN BREEDING PLUMAGE
    WHITE NECK
    GRAY BREAST
    WHITE BELLY


                               BUFFLEHEAD
                          (Bucephala albeola)

    [Illustration: BUFFLEHEAD (Bucephala albeola)]

  BLACK AND WHITE BACK
  DARK BACK
  WHITE WING PATCHES
  WHITE BELLY
  ♂
    BLACK WITH IRIDESCENT GREEN AND PURPLE
    DISTINCT WHITE PATCH
    BLUE-GRAY BILL
  ♀
    DARK GRAYISH BROWN
    DISTINCT WHITE PATCH


                          WHITE-WINGED SCOTER
                          (Melanitta deglandi)

    [Illustration: WHITE-WINGED SCOTER (Melanitta deglandi)]

  BLACK CHUNKY BODY
  WHITE PATCH
  ♂
    WHITE EYE PATCH
    PROMINENT BLACK KNOB
    REDDISH ORANGE
  IMMATURE HAS DISTINCT WHITE PATCHES
  ♀
    FEATHERING EXTENDS ALMOST TO NOSTRIL
    ADULT FEMALE CHEEK PATCHES RANGE FROM SLIGHTLY DARKER THAN IMMATURE
          TO NO WHITE AT ALL


                           FULVOUS TREE DUCK
                      (Dendrocygna bicolor helva)

    [Illustration: FULVOUS TREE DUCK (Dendrocygna bicolor helva)]

  LONG NECK
  ADULT
  WHITE LINE
  IMMATURE
  ADULT
    LONG LEGS


                        BLACK-BELLIED TREE DUCK
                  (Dendrocygna autumnalis autumnalis)

    [Illustration: BLACK-BELLIED TREE DUCK (Dendrocygna autumnalis
    autumnalis)]

  WHITE UPPER WING
  ADULT
    LONG NECK
  IMMATURE
    WHITE WING PATCH


                               RUDDY DUCK
                          (Oxyura jamaicensis)

    [Illustration: RUDDY DUCK (Oxyura jamaicensis)]

  DARK BROWN
  BELLY SILVERY WHITE
  ♂ SUMMER PLUMAGE
    WHITE CHEEK
    CROWN GLOSSY BLACK
    BILL BLUE
    RICH CHESTNUT
  ♂ WINTER PLUMAGE
    CROWN BROWNISH-BLACK
    BILL DUSKY
    ASHY WHITE
  ♀
    MOTTLED CHEEK WITH DARK STRIPE
    BILL NAIL DISTINCTLY SHARP-POINTED
    GRAYISH BROWN


                            HOODED MERGANSER
                        (Lophodytes cucullatus)

    [Illustration: HOODED MERGANSER (Lophodytes cucullatus)]

  WHITE WING PATCH
  ♂
    WHITE CREST OUTLINED WITH BLACK
    THIN, SPIKE-LIKE BLACK BILL
    TEETH NOT INCLINED BACKWARD AS IN OTHER MERGANSERS
    WHITE BREAST
    DOUBLE BLACK BANDS
  ♀
    CREST, LIGHT BROWN
    LIGHT THROAT
  IN FLIGHT ALL MERGANSERS CARRY BILL, NECK AND BODY IN HORIZONTAL
          PLANE, GIVING THEM A CHARACTERISTIC LONG-DRAWN APPEARANCE.


                            COMMON MERGANSER
                           (Mergus merganser)

    [Illustration: COMMON MERGANSER (Mergus merganser)]

  BLACK AND WHITE PATTERN
  WHITE WING PATCH
  ♂
    METALLIC GREENISH-BLACK
    NOT CRESTED
    RED BILL
    NOSTRIL POSITIONED NEAR CENTER OF BILL
  ♀
    DISTINCT CREST
    WHITE THROAT
    RED BILL
    TEETH INCLINED BACKWARDS
    GRAY BACK


                        DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT
                        (Phalacrocorax auritus)

    [Illustration: DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax auritus)]

  ADULT
  IMMATURE
    PALE BREAST
  YELLOW-ORANGE THROAT POUCH
  BLACK BODY


                              COMMON LOON
                             (Gavia immer)

    [Illustration: COMMON LOON (Gavia immer)]

  SUMMER ADULT
    CHECKERED BACK
    IN FLIGHT HAS DOWNWARD CURVE TO NECK
  WINTER ADULT
    FEET EXTEND BEYOND TAIL
    GRAY
  SUMMER ADULT
    BLACK HEAD, PURPLISH IRIDESCENCE
    BLACK BILL
    WHITE RIBBED
    WHITE BREAST AND BELLY
  WINTER ADULT
    GRAY
    WHITE
  SEXES ARE SIMILAR


                              HORNED GREBE
                           (Colymbus auritus)

    [Illustration: HORNED GREBE (Colymbus auritus)]

  WINTER PLUMAGE
    DARK BACK
    THIN BILL
    RED EYE
    WHITE CHEEKS, THROAT AND BELLY
  HEAD, SUMMER PLUMAGE
  LOBED TOES


                           PIED-BILLED GREBE
                         (Podilymbus podiceps)

    [Illustration: PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps)]

  TARSUS FLATTENED LATERALLY
  ADULT HEAD
    BLACK
  IMMATURE
    CHICKEN-LIKE BILL
    WHITE
    STRIPED FACIAL PATTERN
  SEXES ARE SIMILAR


                             WESTERN GREBE
                      (Aechmophorus occidentalis)

    [Illustration: WESTERN GREBE (Aechmophorus occidentalis)]

  WHITE UNDERPARTS
  LONG SLENDER NECK


                             AMERICAN COOT
                           (Fulica americana)

    [Illustration: AMERICAN COOT (Fulica americana)]

  WHITE
  SCALLOPED FLAPS
  WHITE PATCH
  SLATE GRAY BODY
  WHITE BILL


                               KING RAIL
                            (Rallus elegans)

    [Illustration: KING RAIL (Rallus elegans)]

  COMMONLY INHABITS FRESH WATER MARSHES
  GENERALLY HAS A RUSTY COLORATION
  DARK BARRING
  SEXES ARE SIMILAR


                              CLAPPER RAIL
                         (Rallus longirostris)

    [Illustration: CLAPPER RAIL (Rallus longirostris)]

  GENERALLY HAS A GRAYER COLORATION
  COMMONLY INHABITS TIDAL MARSHES
  LIGHT BARRING
  IMMATURE BIRDS SIMILAR TO ADULTS: SPECIES DIFFERENTIATION OFTEN
          DIFFICULT


                             VIRGINIA RAIL
                           (Rallus limicola)

    [Illustration: VIRGINIA RAIL (Rallus limicola)]

  IMMATURE
    BLACKISH BODY
  ADULT
    REDDISH BODY
    GRAY CHEEKS
    LONG BILL
    WHITE
  SEXES ARE SIMILAR


                                  SORA
                           (Porzana Carolina)

    [Illustration: SORA (Porzana Carolina)]

  IMMATURE
    BUFFY BROWN BODY
  ADULT
    WHITE PATCH
    GRAY-BROWN BODY
    SHORT YELLOW BILL
    BLACK FACIAL AND THROAT PATCH


                        COMMON SNIPE (JACKSNIPE)
                          (Capella gallinago)

    [Illustration: COMMON SNIPE (JACKSNIPE) (Capella gallinago)]

  LONG BILL
  STRIPED BACK AND HEAD
  ORANGE TAIL
  HAS A CHARACTERISTIC ZIG-ZAG FLIGHT
  POINTED WING
  SEXES ARE SIMILAR


                           AMERICAN WOODCOCK
                           (Philohela minor)

    [Illustration: AMERICAN WOODCOCK (Philohela minor)]

  BARRED HEAD
  LONG BILL
  SHORT TAIL
  CHUNKY BODY
  LARGE EYE
  APPEARS NECKLESS
  BLUNT WING



                           WATERFOWLER’S CODE


Buy a State License, and if You Are 16 Years of Age or Older Obtain
Federal Duck Stamp. It is illegal to hunt waterfowl without these
licenses, and the dollars you spend for them help to maintain your
sport.

Know Your State, Provincial and Federal Migratory Bird Laws. When in
doubt consult your local game protector or U.S. Game Management Agent.

Treat the Landowner with Respect and Courtesy. Ownership of game is
vested in the State and Province, but landowners have the right to
prevent trespass on their land.

Learn to Identify Before You Shoot. A mistake may prove both
embarrassing and costly, a correct identification adds to your day’s
enjoyment.

Cooperate with Your Federal, State and Provincial Agencies. Solving the
many problems of waterfowl production, harvest and research is possible
only through continued cooperation of the duck hunter and
conservationist.

Use a Retriever if Possible, or at Least Pick Up Every Bird You Shoot. A
good dog will pick up cripples you would otherwise have to leave. A good
sportsman will never kill game needlessly. The use of retrieving dogs is
a sound conservation practice in reducing crippling losses in addition
to providing the pleasure of watching a good dog in action.

Good Sportsmanship in the Duck Blind and on the Marshes Is Equally
Important as Remaining Friendly with Your Neighbors.


                            DISTRIBUTED BY:
                     TEXAS GAME and FISH COMMISSION



                          Transcriber’s Notes


—Retained publication information from the printed edition: this eBook
  is public-domain in the country of publication.

—Added several birds to the Table of Contents to match the text.

—Silently corrected a few typos.

—In the text versions only, text in italics is delimited by
  _underscores_.





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