In today’s lab you will learn to identify waterfowl species, learn about wing morphology, and learn relevant sexing and aging techniques. You will use the information from today’s lab to complete species summaries, which you will use for next week’s quiz.
Identify 22 duck, 4 goose, and 2 swan species based on slides and study mounts.
Learn feather groupings on wings.
Learn to determine age (for 5 species) and sex (for 7 species) based on wing traits.
Take the quiz using your species summaries (see below for more details) from this week. You will have your notes, so spelling counts on both common and Latin names. Fair game for the quiz: Order, family, subfamily and tribe, common and Latin species name (genus species), sex, and age.
View the slides and visit the stations set up in the lab room. Use the wings and study mounts at the stations, the Waterfowl Identification Lab Manual (available for check out from the TA if you would like to make your own copy), resources such as bird field guides, and the relevant pages from the TWS Techniques Manual (pp. 169, 172-175) to compile your species summaries. Test yourself by first identifying/classifying the samples at each station based on the above materials, and then check the tag to determine if your notes are sufficient to help you in the lab quiz next week.
Species Summaries Assignment
Prepare summaries as flashcards, tables, bulleted lists, or some combination. You should have a summary for each of the species on the attached checklist of species covered in our lab. Keep in mind that you should include features that will help you decide between similar looking species on next week’s quiz…These should not be exhaustive treatments for the species – they are simply study aids.
Summaries should include:
Family, Subfamily, and Tribe
Species name (common and Latin)
Origin (native or exotic)
Key species characters
Key sex characters
Key age characters
Waterfowl Checklist (taxonomy according to AOU checklist incl. 2000-02 revisions)
Order Anseriformes (waterfowl)
Family Anatidae (ducks, swans, and geese)
Subfamily Anserinae (swans and geese)
Tribe Cygnini (swans)
trumpeter swan Cygnus buccinator
tundra swan Cygnus columbianus
Tribe Anserini (geese)
greater white-fronted goose Anser albifrons
Snow goose Chen caerulescens
Ross’ goose Chen rossii
Canada goose Branta canadensis
Subfamily Anatinae (ducks)
Tribe Anatini (dabbling ducks)
wood duck Aix sponsa
American wigeon Anas americana
gadwall Anas strepera
green-winged teal Anas crecca *wing S&A
northern pintail Anas acuta *wing S&A
mallard Anas platyrhynchos *wing S&A
American black duck Anas rubripes
blue-winged teal Anas discors
cinnamon teal Anas cyanoptera
northern shoveler Anas clypeata *wing S only
Tribe Aythyini (bay ducks)
canvasback Aythya valisineria *wing S&A
redhead Aythya americana *wing S only
ring-necked duck Aythya collaris
lesser scaup Aythya affinis *wing S&A
Tribe Mergini (sea ducks)
harlequin duck Histrionicus histrionicus
bufflehead Bucephala albeola
Barrow’s goldeneye Bucephala islandica
common goldeneye Bucephala clangula
hooded merganser Lophodytes cucullatus
red-breasted merganser Mergus serrator
common merganser Mergus merganser
Tribe Oxyurini (stiff-tailed ducks)
ruddy duck Oxyura jamaicensis