30 Water Birds That Reside in the US! (w/Pics)

What sorts of water birds can you discover in the US?

common water birds


Go to any lake, river, or wetland, and you’re virtually sure to see some kind of chook within the water, whether or not it’s a duck looking for meals within the shallows or a heron stalking prey alongside the shore.


At this time, you’ll study 30 water chook species which can be COMMON in the US!


Right here is how the under checklist is organized. Click on the hyperlink to leap straight to that part!

Geese, Geese, & Swans:


#1. Mallard

mallard ducks common

The best way to establish:

  • Males have a vivid inexperienced head, skinny white collar, darkish reddish-brown chest, yellow invoice, and a black rump with a white-tipped tail.
  • Females are mottled brown with orange and brown payments.
  • Each sexes have purple-blue secondary feathers on their wing, which is most seen when they’re standing or flying.


My guess is that nearly everyone seems to be conversant in the Mallard. These geese are positively the commonest water birds in the US!

Mallard Vary Map

mallard duck range map

Mallards are extraordinarily comfy round individuals, which is why these adaptable geese are so widespread. They’re present in nearly any wetland habitat, irrespective of the place it’s positioned. We even discover these water birds in our swimming pool each summer time and should chase them away, in order that they don’t make a multitude on our deck! 🙂


Whenever you consider a duck quacking, it’s virtually inevitably a feminine Mallard. If there’s a higher duck sound, we haven’t heard it! Apparently, males don’t quack like females however as a substitute make a raspy name.

#2. American Wigeon

american wigeon

The best way to establish:

  • Compact water birds with spherical heads. Blue-gray payments which can be tipped in black.
  • Males are principally brown however have a particular inexperienced band behind their eyes and a white crown.
  • Females have brown our bodies total, with a grayer-colored head.


American Wigeons are quite a few, however they like quiet lakes and marshes away from individuals. Their weight loss plan consists of a better proportion of plant matter than different geese and can even go to farm fields to feed, much like geese. Their quick invoice gives plenty of energy to assist pluck vegetation with ease!


American Wigeon Vary Map

american wigeon range map


Since they’ll scare simply when approached, the most effective methods to see these water birds in the US is to pay attention for them! Males give a 3-part nasal whistle (whew-whew-whew) at any time of the 12 months, which type of appears like a kazoo (pay attention under)! Females don’t whistle, however they do produce a harsh grunt quack.


#3. Northern Pintail

northern pintail ducks

The best way to establish:

  • Slender geese with lengthy tails and necks and a pale black-gray invoice.
  • Males have a cinnamon-brown head, grey our bodies, and a white throat and breast.
  • Females have plain tan heads and rufous-brown plumage on their our bodies.


Northern Pintails have an extended neck that exaggerates their extraordinarily pointy tail (therefore the identify) when in flight.  Even when floating on water, its tail stands proud farther from its physique than its head. Non-breeding males and all females have shorter however nonetheless outstanding pintails.

Northern Pintail Vary Map

northern pintail range map

The most effective place to search out these water birds in the US is wetland habitat away from individuals. Wildlife refuges are good locations to begin. They have an inclination to stay to shallower areas close to the sides of lakes and ponds. Apparently, they’re additionally proficient at strolling on land, so that you’ll discover them cleansing farm fields of barley, wheat, rice, and corn leftovers.


Males have a singular name, which sounds a bit like a practice whistle. Females utter low-pitched quacking “kuk” notes.

Northern Pintails solely migrate at night time and are unbelievable flyers! Throughout migration, they attain speeds as much as 48 mph (77 kph), and the document for longest continuous flight is 1,800 miles (2,900 km)!


#4. Northern Shoveler

northern shovelers male female

The best way to establish:

  • Males have reddish-brown flanks, inexperienced heads, a white chest, black backs, and yellow eyes.
  • Females are brown, and typically you’ll be able to see a bluish shoulder patch.
  • Each sexes have distinctive payments, that are giant and vast!


In the event you solely look on the inexperienced head, informal observers in the US would possibly unintentionally suppose these geese are Mallards. However one lookup shut at these water birds, and it’s best to discover the ENORMOUS spoon-shaped invoice, which is how Northern Shovelers bought their identify.

Northern Shoveler Vary Map

northern shoveler range map

They use their giant invoice to shovel and sift by mud and sand to search out tasty tidbits like crustaceans, mollusks, and aquatic bugs. Apparently, their invoice has over 100 tiny projections on the sides known as lamellae that assist filter out the meals they need to eat.


Males make a guttural “took-took” sound throughout courtship, when alarmed, and in flight.  Females make a nasally sounding quack.

An attention-grabbing habits noticed with Northern Shovelers is their capacity to “team-up” to search out one thing to eat. Flocks of them will typically swim in circles collectively to assist fire up meals!


#5. Blue-winged Teal

blue winged teal male and female

The best way to establish:

  • Males have a head that’s bluish with a white band in entrance of the attention. Black invoice and black wings. Physique is brown with black spots.
  • Females have brown our bodies. Search for a darkish eyeline and crown on their head.


Blue-winged Teals are present in shallow wetlands throughout the US. These water birds get their identify from the attractive blue shoulder patch that’s solely seen in flight! Simply as fairly is the inexperienced plumage under the blue on the wing.

Blue-winged Teal Vary Map

blue winged teal range map

Imagine it or not, these lovely waterfowl are the second most considerable duck in North America, behind solely (you guessed it) the Mallard. Blue-winged Teal are a preferred species for hunters, though the variety of birds taken per 12 months is monitored carefully to make sure the inhabitants stays sturdy.


Males produce a excessive whistled “tsee-tsee.”


#6. Inexperienced-winged Teal

green winged teal

The best way to establish:

  • Males have chestnut-brown heads and a inexperienced ear patch. Stunning gray-barred our bodies with vertical white stripes on either side.
  • Females have a darkish eye-line and are mottled brown all through.
  • Each sexes have a inexperienced patch on their wing, which is seen in flight and more often than not when resting.


Inexperienced-winged Teals are one of many smallest water birds you will discover in the US. They’re solely 12-15 inches (31-39 cm) in size and weigh between 5 and 18 ounces (140-510 g).

Inexperienced-winged Teal Vary Map

green winged teal range map

These birds usually journey and hang around with different species. Look carefully for the smallest duck in a blended flock, and there’s a good probability it’s a Inexperienced-winged Teal. Even females, which look much like feminine Mallards, ought to stand out as a result of they’re noticeably smaller!


Males give a brief, clear, repeated whistle, which is a singular sound for a duck should you ask me!  Females usually give a collection of quacks at any time of the 12 months.


#7. Wooden Duck

wood ducks

The best way to establish:

  • Males have very intricate plumage. Search for the inexperienced crested head, pink eyes, and chestnut breast with white flecks.
  • Females have brown our bodies with a grayish head, which can be barely crested. White teardrop eye patch and a blue patch on the wing.


Walt Disney used to say that “the world is a carousel of colour,” and few waterfowl have taken this extra to coronary heart than the male Wooden Duck.  The truth is, it appears like an artist used each colour to color a duck that has inexperienced, pink, orange, lime, yellow, buff, rose, brown, tan, black, white, grey, purple, and blue coloring.

Wooden Duck Vary Map

wood duck range map

This is without doubt one of the few water chook species in the US you might even see in a tree! Wooden Geese use deserted tree cavities for nesting, however additionally they readily take to elevated nesting containers.


When hatchlings go away the nest for the primary time, they usually should make an enormous leap of religion (as much as 50 ft) to the bottom under! It’s important to watch the video under to imagine it. 🙂


Apparently, Wooden Geese are completely developed for his or her life spent in bushes. Their claws are highly effective, which permits them to perch and grasp onto branches!


The commonest sound heard from Wooden Geese is when they’re disturbed. I’ve usually unintentionally come across them solely to listen to them flying away saying “ooeek-ooeek” loudly!


#8. Bufflehead

bufflehead male female

The best way to establish:

  • Small geese with giant heads.
  • Males have white chests and flanks and a big white patch on their heads. Darkish again. Iridescent purple-green plumage on their face.
  • Females are principally brownish with a darker head. Search for the distinctive white cheek patch.


It’s laborious to misidentify these placing water birds when seen in the US. They spend as much as half their time foraging underwater, on the lookout for aquatic invertebrates and crustaceans, which they eat whereas nonetheless submerged. After they dive, be affected person and maintain scanning across the space for these small birds to resurface.


Bufflehead Vary Map

bufflehead range map


Buffleheads are choosy nesters, and they’re going to ONLY lay eggs inside a cavity. They virtually completely use holes that have been excavated by Northern Glints, and now and again, Pileated Woodpeckers. They’re shedding nest websites resulting from logging, however they do take readily to correctly put in nest containers.


General, Buffleheads are extra silent than different geese. In late winter to early spring, it’s doable to listen to the males make a squeaky whistle.


#9. Hooded Merganser

hooded merganser male and female

The best way to establish:

  • Small water chook with an extended, slender invoice.
  • Breeding males have an unmistakable giant black crest that has a big white patch on either side. Yellow eyes.
  • Females have darkish eyes and are brown total with a barely lighter coloured crest, which just about appears like a mohawk. Nonbreeding males look much like females, besides they’ve yellow eyes.


Look-wise, Hooded Merganser’s are considered one of my favourite water birds. Seeing a breeding male with its giant black and white crest erected is a phenomenal sight. Search for these geese in shallow ponds and rivers in summer time, whereas in winter, they transfer to unfrozen lakes or bays.

Hooded Merganser Vary Map

hooded merganser range map

Their lengthy, skinny invoice is serrated, which helps them catch small fish, crayfish, and aquatic bugs. Their meals is nearly at all times swallowed complete, no matter measurement. They hunt underwater by sight and have imaginative and prescient variations that enable them to see fairly clearly when submerged.


Females have an attention-grabbing habits the place they could lay a few of their eggs in different Hooded Mergansers’ nests. Whereas every chook can lay as much as a dozen eggs, nests have been discovered with greater than 40 eggs in them, making one duck work quite a bit tougher than a number of others.


#10. Frequent Merganser

common mergansers

The best way to establish:

  • A pretty big duck that has an extended, slender orange invoice with a black tip and darkish eyes.
  • Breeding males have a largely white physique, a black again, and a mallard-like inexperienced head.
  • Females and non-breeding males sport a cinnamon-colored head and a grayish-white physique.


On account of their skinny invoice, Frequent Mergansers stand out pretty simply from most different water birds in the US. Their favourite meals is fish, which they catch with the assistance of their serrated invoice, however additionally they bask in aquatic invertebrates comparable to crustaceans, mollusks, bugs, and worms.

Frequent Merganser Vary Map

common merganser range map

Frequent Mergansers are so good at fishing that different birds attempt to steal from them once they floor. The truth is, it’s frequent to see flocks of seagulls following them, hoping to grab a straightforward meal. Even Bald Eagles have been recognized to rob them of their hard-earned fish!


Naturally, these geese nest in tree cavities that woodpeckers have carved out. Apparently, new child ducklings are solely a couple of day previous once they leap from the doorway to the bottom, at which level the mom will cause them to water, and so they catch all their very own meals instantly.


#11. Canada Goose

canada goose

Figuring out Traits:

  • Giant goose with an extended black neck and a distinctive white cheek patch.
  • Brown physique with a pale white chest and underparts.
  • Black ft and legs.


Canada Geese are extraordinarily frequent in the US.


I’m positive you in all probability acknowledge these water birds, as they’re very comfy dwelling round individuals and improvement. Search for them wherever there are grasses or grains to eat, comparable to lawns, parks, farm fields, and golf programs. I do know I’ve been responsible of stepping of their “droppings” not less than a couple of instances in my very own yard as they arrive to eat corn from my feeding station. 🙂


Canada Goose Vary Map

canada goose range map

The truth is, these geese at the moment are so considerable, many individuals take into account them pests for the quantity of waste they produce! If in case you have a manicured garden that’s maintained all the best way to the water’s edge, you may have an open invitation for these birds to go to.


These water birds are sometimes heard in the US.

Hear for all kinds of loud honks and cackles. Hear above! I’ve even been hissed at by them for unintentionally approaching a nest too carefully.


#12. Snow Goose

snow goose

Figuring out Traits:

  • Most Snow Geese are all white with black tail feathers. However some people show a “blue morph,” whose heads are nonetheless white however our bodies are sooty grey.
  • Pink legs.
  • Pink invoice, which has a black patch on either side.


Snow Geese spend their time within the continent’s northernmost areas through the breeding season, away from human civilization. Most individuals solely get the pleasure of seeing this considerable goose in the US once they migrate south in fall and winter.

Snow Goose Vary Map

snow goose range map


Search for these water birds in giant fields and our bodies of water. If they’re round, it’s often not laborious to search out them, as they’re virtually at all times seen in enormous flocks accompanied by plenty of honking!


The truth is, one of the vital spectacular issues you’ll watch at present is the under video, which reveals an ENORMOUS flock of Snow Geese. It’s laborious to fathom what number of birds are touring collectively!


And as you’ll be able to in all probability hear from the video above, Snow Geese are one of many noisiest waterfowl you’ll encounter in the US. Their nasally, one-syllable honk might be heard at any time of day or night time, at any time of the 12 months!


And lastly, here’s a enjoyable incontrovertible fact that my children liked to study. Snow Geese are prolific at pooping, and so they defecate between 6 – 15 instances per hour. 🙂


#13. Tundra Swan

tundra swan

Figuring out Traits:

  • Giant, fully white water chook with an extended white neck.
  • Totally black invoice.
  • Search for a yellow patch on their black facial pores and skin, positioned just under the attention, to appropriately establish.
  • Smaller than Trumpeter Swans.


Tundra Swans kind long-term, devoted relationships. Usually by the point they’re 2 or 3, they’ve discovered a companion. As soon as that occurs, these two birds will breed, feed, roost, and journey collectively year-round.  


The commonest sound these birds make is a “hoo-ho-hoo” bugle, with the second syllable being emphasised. (Hear under)

One other typical sound related to Tundra Swans is the whistling of their wings. The truth is, Lewis and Clark initially known as them “whistling swans” once they first encountered them, and many individuals nonetheless use this identify at present.


#14. Mute Swan

mute swans

Figuring out Traits:

  • An enormous white water chook with an extended white neck.
  • Search for the distinctive orange invoice that contains a black base and knob.


Mute Swans are one of the vital elegant and delightful birds you will note within the water. They’re additionally huge and are one of many heaviest birds that may truly fly!


However surprisingly, these water birds are NOT native to the US!


On account of their magnificence, Mute Swans have been imported from Europe after which launched in parks, giant estates, and zoos. Sadly, these people escaped and have established an invasive wild inhabitants.

mute swans common and invasive


Don’t be stuffed by their look; these swans might be aggressive, and so they repeatedly assault kayakers and different individuals who get too near their nest. In addition they displace native ecosystems resulting from their voracious urge for food, which requires as much as 8 kilos (3.6 kg) of aquatic vegetation per day!


Regardless of their identify, these swans are usually not mute!

Whereas they’re comparatively quiet, they make a hoarse trumpet sound when defending their territory. And if they’re threatened, then count on to listen to and a wide range of barks, hisses, and snorts.


Herons, Ibises, and Cranes:


#15. Nice Blue Heron

great blue heron

Figuring out Traits:

  • A really tall and huge water chook, with an extended neck and a large black stripe over its eye.
  • Because the identify suggests, they’re a grayish-blue colour.
  • Lengthy feather plumes on their head, neck, and again.


Nice Blue Heron Vary Map

great blue heron range map


Nice Blue Herons are sometimes seen in the US alongside the sides of rivers, lakes, and wetlands.


More often than not, they’ll both be immobile or shifting very slowly by the water, on the lookout for their prey. However watch them carefully as a result of when a chance presents itself, these herons will strike rapidly and ferociously to seize one thing to eat. Frequent meals embody fish, frogs, reptiles, small mammals, and even different birds.

Take a look at the Hen Watching HQ YouTube Channel HERE!


Nice Blue Herons seem majestic in flight, and as soon as you understand what to search for, it’s fairly simple to identify them. Watch the skies in the US for a LARGE water chook that folds its neck into an “S” form and has its legs trailing straight behind.


When disturbed, these giant birds make a loud “kraak” or “fraunk” sound, which can be heard when in flight. Hear under!


#16. American Bittern

american bittern


Figuring out Traits:

  • A medium-sized, stout water chook that may be a buffy brown colour.
  • Underparts are white with brown streaks.


Take into account your self fortunate should you can spot an American Bittern in the US!


These herons stay in freshwater marshes and are extraordinarily secretive and completely camouflaged for his or her habitat.


American Bittern Vary Map

american bittern range map


American Bitterns are most frequently seen standing immobile, ready for a fish, invertebrate, amphibian, or reptile to wander close to. As soon as their prey will get shut sufficient, their head darts rapidly to seize the sufferer to swallow headfirst. Apparently, indigestible components don’t move by their digestive system however as a substitute are regurgitated as pellets!


Sound is without doubt one of the greatest methods to search out these water birds in the US!  Through the breeding season, pay attention for a loud, odd-sounding “oong-KA-chunk” name, which has a liquid sound. (Hear under)


#17. Inexperienced Heron

green heron

Figuring out Traits:

  • Small heron with an extended, dagger-like invoice.
  • Their again is gray-green. Head and neck are chestnut-brown, aside from the green-black cap on the pinnacle.
  • The neck is often drawn into their physique.


Inexperienced Heron Vary Map

green heron range map


This small water chook is present in the US in any moist habitat that features plenty of vegetation, which gives locations for them to remain hidden. You’ll most frequently see them foraging at daybreak or nightfall, as they like to remain out of sight throughout many of the day.


The primary time I heard the “skeow” name of an alarmed Inexperienced Heron within the marsh behind my home, I had no thought what I heard as a result of it was so distinctive. However fortunately, these sounds are simple to study, and now I can simply establish these herons after I’m visiting most wetlands.


#18. Nice Egret

great egret

Figuring out Traits:

  • Giant, white chook with lengthy, black legs.
  • S-curved neck and a daggerlike yellow invoice. Search for a greenish space between their eyes and the bottom of the invoice.
  • Whereas they fly, their neck is tucked in, and their lengthy legs path behind.


Look-wise, Nice Egrets are one of the vital beautiful water birds present in the US. They particularly placed on a present throughout breeding season once they develop lengthy feathery plumes, known as aigrettes, that are held up throughout courtship shows.


Nice Egret Vary Map

great egret range map


The truth is, these aigrettes are so lovely, Nice Egrets have been virtually hunted to extinction within the nineteenth century as a result of these feathers made such good decorations on women’ hats. The Nationwide Audubon Society was truly shaped in response to assist defend these birds from being slaughtered. To today, the Nice Egret serves because the image for the group.


Nice Egrets don’t get any awards for his or her lovely songs. Hear for a loud sound that’s greatest described as a croak (“kraak).” When shocked, chances are you’ll hear a quick “cuk-cuk-cuk” alarm name. LISTEN BELOW!


#19. Cattle Egret

cattle egret

Figuring out Traits:

  • Smaller heron with a yellow invoice that always perches with its neck drawn in.
  • Nonbreeding adults are fully white with black legs.
  • Breeding adults are white however have yellow legs and golden feathers on their head, again, and breast.

Cattle Egret Vary Map

cattle egret range map


Cattle Egrets are a bit distinctive when in comparison with different water birds in the US. As a substitute of spending their time close to water, these birds sometimes stay in fields, the place they forage for invertebrates which have been kicked up on the ft of grazing livestock. It’s additionally frequent to see them on the lookout for ticks on the backs of cattle!


Apparently, Cattle Egrets are usually not native to North America. These herons are initially from Africa however discovered their approach right here within the Nineteen Fifties and have since unfold throughout the nation. Their vary retains slowly increasing as individuals convert land for farming and livestock.


At any time of the 12 months, pay attention for repeated, raspy “rick-rack” calls.


#20. Snowy Egret

snowy egret

Figuring out Traits:

  • A totally white, medium-sized water chook with a black dagger-like invoice.
  • Black legs, however their ft are yellow.
  • A yellow patch of pores and skin beneath their eye.

Snowy Egret Vary Map

snowy egret range map


These lovely herons will usually use their yellow ft to fire up water or mud to assist them uncover hiding invertebrates, amphibians, or fish. As soon as their prey has been discovered, Snowy Egrets haven’t any downside working their meals down to complete the job!


Apparently, these water birds will breed with different heron species, comparable to different equally sized birds like Tricolored Herons, Little Blue Herons, and Cattle Egrets. So should you see a heron that you may’t appear to establish, it might be a hybrid!


#21. Sandhill Crane

sandhill crane

Figuring out Traits:

  • Tall, grey chook with an extended neck and lengthy legs.
  • White throat. Crimson patch on the brow.
  • Flies with its neck stretched out and legs trailing behind.


In the event you go to the fitting habitat, Sandhill Cranes are simple to identify in the US. These water birds are giant, elegant, and placed on some fancy dancing whereas making an attempt to draw a mate! It’s frequent to see a breeding male pump their wings, bow, stretch their wings, and bounce into the air, all within the identify of affection. 🙂


Sandhill Crane Vary Map

sandhill crane range map


Sandhill Cranes are well-known for his or her LOUD bugling calls.


The truth is, these sounds might be heard over 2 miles away and are given each on the bottom or whereas flying. They’ve tailored extraordinarily lengthy windpipes that really coil into the sternum, which helps produce the low, loud pitch.


One factor that amazes me about Sandhill Cranes is how lengthy they stay. The oldest one on document was not less than 36 years previous, because it was banded initially in 1973 after which discovered once more in 2010!


#22. White-faced Ibis

white-faced ibis

Figuring out Traits:

  • Maroon water birds with an extended curved invoice. Wings seem metallic inexperienced and bronze in the fitting gentle.
  • On the base of the invoice, breeding adults have a naked patch of pink pores and skin surrounded by a white border. Crimson legs.
  • Nonbreeding adults lack the pores and skin patch and white border on the face. Greenish-black legs.


At first look, these lovely wading birds seem black. However upon nearer inspection, you will note a phenomenal combination of inexperienced, bronze, and purple plumage. White-faced Ibises are present in marshes throughout the western United States, the place they are often discovered digging their lengthy invoice into mud on the lookout for earthworms, bugs, and crayfish.

White-faced Ibis Vary Map

white faced ibis range map

These birds typically use human-made objects of their nests. All the things from lighters to dolls to shotgun shells have been discovered!


Whereas they’re feeding or flying, chances are you’ll hear a comfortable “oink,” which is usually repeated.


#23. White Ibis

white ibis

Figuring out Traits:

  • White our bodies and pink legs. The pink invoice is lengthy and curved.
  • A naked patch of pink pores and skin behind the invoice and across the eye.
  • When flying, search for black wing ideas.


Though they are often discovered extra inland, the most effective spot to see these water birds in the US is close to the coast. White Ibises sometimes forage collectively in giant teams in shallow wetlands on the lookout for crustaceans and bugs.

White Ibis Vary Map

white ibis range map


These social water birds don’t prefer to be alone. Along with feeding, additionally they nest collectively in giant colonies, fly in flocks, and even take group baths!


Their name just isn’t very musical. Hear for a nasally honk given whereas on the lookout for meals or flying.

Lastly, I discover it attention-grabbing that White Ibis chicks are born with utterly straight payments. Over their first two weeks of being alive, they slowly curve.



Loons, grebes, and different water birds:


#24. Frequent Loon

common loon

Figuring out Traits:

  • Lengthy our bodies with a powerful, thick dagger-like invoice. They sit low within the water.
  • Breeding adults have a black head and a black and white checkerboard again.
  • Nonbreeding adults are a lot duller and have a uniformly grayish again and head.


Frequent Loons are considered one of my FAVORITE water birds present in the US.


These attractive birds are insanely sturdy and quick swimmers and routinely catch fish in high-speed underwater chases. The truth is, they’ve even tailored stable bones (most chook bones are hole), which makes it simpler to dive since they’re much less buoyant.

Frequent Loon Vary Map

common loon range map


To assist stop different birds from stealing their meals, Frequent Loons sometimes swallow their prize whereas nonetheless underwater. And to make sure the slippery fish doesn’t escape as soon as caught, loons have rear-facing projections inside their mouth that sink in and supply a decent grip.


One among my favourite issues about these birds is the fantastic, eerie sounds they make. Hear for a repertoire of vocalizations, which all signify one thing. LISTEN BELOW!


For instance, their tremolo calls are used when alarmed. Yodeling is given by males to announce their territories. And their well-known haunting wail calls assist mated pairs find one another.


#25. American Coot

american coot

Figuring out Traits:

  • Totally black, aside from a white sloping invoice.
  • Crimson eyes.
  • Toes are NOT webbed, however as a substitute, they’re lengthy and lobed.


American Coots are distinctive water birds which can be fairly considerable in the US. At first look, they seem fairly like a duck, however they’re truly extra associated to Sandhill Cranes!

American Coot Vary Map

american coot range map


As a result of they don’t have webbed ft, American Coots can stroll fairly properly on land. However don’t let this truth idiot you into pondering they’ll’t swim, as a result of they’re EXCELLENT swimmers. Every considered one of their lengthy toes has lobes of pores and skin that assist them propel by the water.


These water birds are fairly vocal. Hear for a wide range of squawks, croaks, and grunts.

#26. Double-crested Cormorant

double crested cormorant

Figuring out Traits:

  • Gangly water birds with an extended tail and neck.
  • Utterly black aside from yellow-orange pores and skin across the base of the invoice.
  • Lengthy, hooked invoice. Eyes are a reasonably turquoise colour.


Double-crested Cormorants are extremely distinctive trying, with many individuals pondering they seem like a cross between a loon and goose. These knowledgeable divers eat virtually completely fish, which they catch underwater with their completely tailored hooked invoice.

Double-crested Cormorant Vary Map

double crested cormorant range map


One of many BEST methods to search out these water birds in the US is to search for them on land with their wings unfold out. Double-crested Cormorants don’t have waterproof feathers, so after swimming, they should dry them.


Giant colonies of those birds have a tendency to assemble in bushes close to water, the place all of them construct their nests in a small cluster of bushes. Sadly, there might be so many birds so shut collectively that their poop, I imply guano, finally ends up killing the bushes!


Double-crested Cormorants emit distinctive deep guttural grunts, which I feel sound extra like a big walrus than a chook. Hear under!


#27. Pied-billed Grebe

pied bill grebe

Figuring out Traits:

  • Small, chunky water chook with a brief, thick invoice and virtually no tail.
  • Principally brown. Breeding adults have a vertical black stripe on their beak.


These frequent water birds are present in freshwater marshes, lakes, and slow-moving rivers throughout the US. They seem much like a duck from a distance, however upon nearer investigation, you will note a brief, chunky invoice and a blocky-looking head.

Pied-billed Grebe Vary Map

pied billed grebe range map


Pied-billed Grebes are glorious divers and eat varied crustaceans, amphibians, fish, and bugs. They’re virtually completely tailored for all times within the water, and you’ll seldom see them out of it. However their aquatic expertise come at a value, as they’re extraordinarily awkward strolling on land and pretty sluggish flyers.


Pied-billed Grebes don’t even lay their eggs on land! As a substitute, they sometimes assemble a bowl-shaped nest out of useless vegetation that sit instantly on floating vegetation. On a aspect be aware, they’ve ADORABLE infants, which have cute black and white faces.


It may be laborious to identify considered one of these grebes, as they usually cover amongst dense vegetation. Many instances, it’s simpler to find one by listening for his or her distinct sounds. The commonest name is a loud, wailing “kuk-kuk-kuk-kaow-kaow,” which slows down on the finish.


#28. Eared Grebe

eared grebe

Figuring out Traits:

  • Small grebe with a skinny, straight, black invoice. Vivid pink eyes.
  • Breeding adults are principally black however have lovely golden feathers behind their eyes.
  • Nonbreeding adults lack golden feathers. Principally black with a grayish neck, white cheek patches, and white sides.


Eared Grebes are usually not solely frequent water birds within the western United States, however they’re truly probably the most considerable grebe in the whole world!


Eared Grebe Vary Map

eared grebe range map


Apparently, yearly once they molt, they’re fully flightless for round two months! However they’re such poor fliers, it doesn’t actually matter a lot, as they like to swim to get away from predators anyhow.


For a chook that doesn’t prefer to fly and isn’t superb at it, they positive do migrate a good distance! They journey as a lot as 3,700 miles (6000 km) to succeed in their wintering feeding grounds. Apparently, on their approach south, the whole inhabitants of Eared Grebes stops in a single of some salt lakes (Nice Salt Lake, Mono Lake) to fatten up on brine shrimp and alkali flies earlier than migrating farther south.


These water birds are usually quiet, aside from through the breeding season, the place it’s doable to listen to a rising whistle that ends with a hiccup (ooEEK).

#29. Brown Pelican

brown pelican

Figuring out Traits:

  • Giant water chook with a really lengthy invoice and neck.
  • Brown pores and skin on their large throat patch.
  • Darkish grey our bodies with a white neck and pale yellow head.


It’s laborious to mistake a Brown Pelican in the US since no different water chook appears fairly prefer it!


Brown Pelican Vary Map

brown pelican range map


After I’m visiting the seaside, I like seeing the best way that Brown Pelicans elegantly fly simply over the water’s floor. Whereas these water birds are frequent at present, imagine it or not, they virtually went extinct within the mid twentieth century resulting from DDT poisoning.


These seabirds are generally seen alongside the coast as they plunge aggressively headfirst into the water. These dives are supposed to stun the encompassing fish, which then are scooped up with their huge throat pouch and swallowed complete.


Don’t hassle listening for them, as Brown Pelicans are principally silent creatures. Chances are you’ll hear loud popping sounds once they defend their nests, which is made out of them snapping their payments collectively sharply.


#30. American White Pelican

white pelican

Figuring out Traits:

  • GIANT white water chook with an extended neck and lengthy invoice.
  • Yellow patch on the base of the invoice that wraps round their eyes.
  • Breeding adults have an odd plate that sticks up from the top of the invoice.


American White Pelicans are laborious to overlook resulting from their huge measurement, and they’re one of many largest water birds in the US. They sometimes weigh between 11 – 20 kilos (5.0 – 9.1 kg), nevertheless it’s their wingspan that’s most spectacular. When absolutely unfold, the wings measure over 9 ft (2.7 m) from tip to tip, which is the second widest in North America, behind the California Condor.


American White Pelican Vary Map

white pelican range map


These pelicans don’t dive like many different birds to catch fish however as a substitute use their large neck pouches to scoop up fish. The truth is, people generally work collectively to herd fish to shallow areas to make them simpler to catch.


Apparently, chicks which can be nonetheless INSIDE the egg can squawk to convey discomfort if circumstances turn into too scorching or too chilly! In any other case, adults are usually silent.

To study much more, try these different guides!

Among the vary maps under have been generously shared with permission from The Birds of The World, printed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. I take advantage of their web site OFTEN to study new details about birds!

Which of those water birds have you ever seen earlier than in the US?


Depart a remark under!


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