Wlf 315 Wildlife Ecology I lab

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Wlf 315 Wildlife Ecology I Lab

Fall 2009
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.

  1. Identify 22 duck, 4 goose, and 2 swan species based on slides and study mounts.

  2. Learn feather groupings on wings.

  3. Learn to determine age (for 5 species) and sex (for 7 species) based on wing traits.

Next week

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

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