Ducks, Geese, and Swans

Looking at the family Anatidae. Learn about the fascinating world of ducks and their close relatives.

December 20, 2020

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Ducks, Geese, and Swans


This episode focuses on the biological family Anatidae. This family includes the more than 150 species of ducks, geese, and swans in the world.

First, we highlight the key features shared by these birds, as well as some differences among them. We also discuss their diversity and distribution.

We continue by examining the duck’s bill and the various things these birds eat.

Breeding, migration, and conservation round out our look at this fascinating group of birds.

Along the way, we goof around and have some fun.

Links of Interest

Research Citations

Photos of some birds mentioned

A male Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata). This is an extreme example of sexual dimorphism in the family Anatidae. Photo by mrallen.
Blue-winged Goose (Cyanochen cyanoptera) in Ethiopia. All of this bird's close relatives are "ducks." Photo by Roger de la Harpe
The Pink-eared Duck (Malacohynchus membranaceus) is an oddball from Australia. It probably used the flaps on its bill as sensory organs while foraging. Photo by merv.


This work by Ivan Phillipsen is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

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