Archive for July 14th, 2016

Getting to Know Dabblers and Divers

Thursday, July 14th, 2016
The Mallard is the most common of the dabbling ducks.

The Mallard is the most common of the dabbling ducks.

This is Passport to Texas

What do gadwalls…pintails…teal…wigeons… redheads and shovelers have in common?

That’s right. They’re ducks…waterfowl. They’re also game birds. But the similarities don’t end there. These fowl are further grouped by another characteristic.

There’re two different types of ducks, there’re dabblers and there’re divers.

Dave Morrison is the waterfowl program leader at Parks and Wildlife. Neither of the descriptions—diver nor dabbler—fully conveys what to expect from these birds.

And the difference is the way they feed. How they’re bodies are made up. Dabblers tend to have their feet more centered, whereas, divers are in the back of the body. Dabblers jump, spring into the air, whereas diving ducks pitter patter along the water.

Still not sure whether you would be able to distinguish a dabbling duck from a diving duck? Then, consider the following next time you see a flock of fowl feeding at a lake, stock pond or reservoir:

Dabblers feed at or near the water’s surface by filtering food… and they often tip upside down in the water to reach food at the bottom of a pond.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.