- Bird

30 Water Birds That Dwell in america! (w/Pics)

What sorts of water birds can you discover in america?

common water birds


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


In the present day, you will study 30 water fowl species which can be COMMON in america!


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

Find out how to establish:

  • Males have a brilliant 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 just about everyone seems to be conversant in the Mallard. These geese are undoubtedly the most typical water birds in america!

Mallard Vary Map

mallard duck range map

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


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

#2. American Wigeon

american wigeon

Find out how 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 general, with a grayer-colored head.


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


American Wigeon Vary Map

american wigeon range map


Since they’ll scare simply when approached, top-of-the-line methods to see these water birds in america is to hear for them! Males give a 3-part nasal whistle (whew-whew-whew) at any time of the yr, which form of seems like a kazoo (hear under)! Females don’t whistle, however they do produce a harsh grunt quack.


#3. Northern Pintail

northern pintail ducks

Find out how 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 title) when in flight.  Even when floating on water, its tail stands out 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 perfect place to search out these water birds in america is wetland habitat away from folks. Wildlife refuges are excellent locations to begin. They have a tendency to stay to shallower areas close to the sides of lakes and ponds. Curiously, 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 prepare whistle. Females utter low-pitched quacking “kuk” notes.

Northern Pintails solely migrate at evening 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

Find out how to establish:

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


For those who solely look on the inexperienced head, informal observers in america may by accident assume these geese are Mallards. However one search for shut at these water birds, and you need to discover the ENORMOUS spoon-shaped invoice, which is how Northern Shovelers received their title.

Northern Shoveler Vary Map

northern shoveler range map

They use their giant invoice to shovel and sift by means of mud and sand to search out tasty tidbits like crustaceans, mollusks, and aquatic bugs. Curiously, 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 fascinating conduct noticed with Northern Shovelers is their means 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

Find out how 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 america. These water birds get their title from the gorgeous 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 plentiful duck in North America, behind solely (you guessed it) the Mallard. Blue-winged Teal are a well-liked species for hunters, though the variety of birds taken per yr is monitored intently to make sure the inhabitants stays sturdy.


Males produce a excessive whistled “tsee-tsee.”


#6. Inexperienced-winged Teal

green winged teal

Find out how to establish:

  • Males have chestnut-brown heads and a inexperienced ear patch. Lovely 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 see that in america. 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 intently for the smallest duck in a blended flock, and there’s a good probability it’s a Inexperienced-winged Teal. Even females, which look just 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 if you happen to ask me!  Females usually give a sequence of quacks at any time of the yr.


#7. Wooden Duck

wood ducks

Find out how to establish:

  • Males have very intricate plumage. Search for the inexperienced crested head, purple 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 shade,” and few waterfowl have taken this extra to coronary heart than the male Wooden Duck.  In truth, it appears like an artist used each shade to color a duck that has inexperienced, purple, 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 fowl species in america you might even see in a tree! Wooden Geese use deserted tree cavities for nesting, however in addition they readily take to elevated nesting packing containers.


When hatchlings go away the nest for the primary time, they usually need to make an enormous leap of religion (as much as 50 ft) to the bottom under! You must watch the video under to imagine it. ????


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


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


#8. Bufflehead

bufflehead male female

Find out how 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 arduous to misidentify these hanging water birds when seen in america. They spend as much as half their time foraging underwater, in search of aquatic invertebrates and crustaceans, which they eat whereas nonetheless submerged. Once 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’ll ONLY lay eggs within a cavity. They nearly solely use holes that have been excavated by Northern Glints, and now and again, Pileated Woodpeckers. They’re dropping nest websites on account of logging, however they do take readily to correctly put in nest packing containers.


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


#9. Hooded Merganser

hooded merganser male and female

Find out how to establish:

  • Small water fowl 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 general with a barely lighter coloured crest, which nearly appears like a mohawk. Nonbreeding males look just like females, besides they’ve yellow eyes.


Look-wise, Hooded Merganser’s are one in every of my favourite water birds. Seeing a breeding male with its giant black and white crest erected is a gorgeous 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 all the time swallowed complete, no matter dimension. They hunt underwater by sight and have imaginative and prescient diversifications that permit them to see fairly clearly when submerged.


Females have an fascinating conduct the place they could lay a few of their eggs in different Hooded Mergansers’ nests. Whereas every fowl can lay as much as a dozen eggs, nests have been discovered with greater than 40 eggs in them, making one duck work rather a lot tougher than a number of others.


#10. Widespread Merganser

common mergansers

Find out how 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.


Because of their skinny invoice, Widespread Mergansers stand out pretty simply from most different water birds in america. Their favourite meals is fish, which they catch with the assistance of their serrated invoice, however in addition they take pleasure in aquatic invertebrates comparable to crustaceans, mollusks, bugs, and worms.

Widespread Merganser Vary Map

common merganser range map

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


Naturally, these geese nest in tree cavities that woodpeckers have carved out. Curiously, new child ducklings are solely a couple of day previous after 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 america.


I’m certain you in all probability acknowledge these water birds, as they’re very snug residing round folks 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” no less than a couple of occasions in my very own yard as they arrive to eat corn from my feeding station. ????


Canada Goose Vary Map

canada goose range map

In truth, these geese are actually so plentiful, many individuals think about them pests for the quantity of waste they produce! In case you have a manicured garden that’s maintained all the best way to the water’s edge, you’ve gotten an open invitation for these birds to go to.


These water birds are sometimes heard in america.

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


#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 plentiful goose in america after 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 arduous to search out them, as they’re nearly all the time seen in big flocks accompanied by quite a lot of honking!


In truth, one of the crucial spectacular issues you’ll watch in the present day is the under video, which reveals an ENORMOUS flock of Snow Geese. It’s arduous to fathom what number of birds are touring collectively!


And as you may in all probability hear from the video above, Snow Geese are one of many noisiest waterfowl you’ll encounter in america. Their nasally, one-syllable honk will be heard at any time of day or evening, at any time of the yr!


And lastly, here’s a enjoyable indisputable fact that my youngsters beloved to study. Snow Geese are prolific at pooping, and so they defecate between 6 – 15 occasions per hour. ????


#13. Tundra Swan

tundra swan

Figuring out Traits:

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


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


The most typical 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. In truth, Lewis and Clark initially known as them “whistling swans” after they first encountered them, and many individuals nonetheless use this title in the present day.


#14. Mute Swan

mute swans

Figuring out Traits:

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


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


However surprisingly, these water birds are NOT native to america!


Because 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 crammed by their look; these swans will be aggressive, and so they repeatedly assault kayakers and different individuals who get too near their nest. Additionally they displace native ecosystems on account of their voracious urge for food, which requires as much as 8 kilos (3.6 kg) of aquatic vegetation per day!


Regardless of their title, 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 quite a lot 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 fowl, with an extended neck and a large black stripe over its eye.
  • Because the title suggests, they’re a grayish-blue shade.
  • Lengthy feather plumes on their head, neck, and again.


Nice Blue Heron Vary Map

great blue heron range map


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


More often than not, they may both be immobile or shifting very slowly by means of the water, in search of their prey. However watch them intently as a result of when a chance presents itself, these herons will strike shortly and ferociously to seize one thing to eat. Widespread meals embrace fish, frogs, reptiles, small mammals, and even different birds.

Try the Chicken Watching HQ YouTube Channel HERE!


Nice Blue Herons seem majestic in flight, and as soon as you realize what to search for, it’s fairly simple to identify them. Watch the skies in america for a LARGE water fowl 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 will also be heard when in flight. Hear under!


#16. American Bittern

american bittern


Figuring out Traits:

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


Think about your self fortunate if you happen to can spot an American Bittern in america!


These herons dwell 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 shortly to seize the sufferer to swallow headfirst. Curiously, indigestible elements don’t go by means of their digestive system however as a substitute are regurgitated as pellets!


Sound is without doubt one of the finest methods to search out these water birds in america!  Through the breeding season, hear 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, apart from the green-black cap on the top.
  • The neck is often drawn into their physique.


Inexperienced Heron Vary Map

green heron range map


This small water fowl is present in america in any moist habitat that features a number of vegetation, which supplies 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 a lot 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 fowl 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 crucial beautiful water birds present in america. They particularly placed on a present throughout breeding season after they develop lengthy feathery plumes, known as aigrettes, that are held up throughout courtship shows.


Nice Egret Vary Map

great egret range map


In truth, these aigrettes are so lovely, Nice Egrets have been nearly 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 really fashioned in response to assist defend these birds from being slaughtered. To at the present time, 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 finest described as a croak (“kraak).” When stunned, you could 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 completely 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 america. As an alternative of spending their time close to water, these birds usually dwell in fields, the place they forage for invertebrates which were kicked up on the ft of grazing livestock. It’s additionally frequent to see them in search of ticks on the backs of cattle!


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


At any time of the yr, hear for repeated, raspy “rick-rack” calls.


#20. Snowy Egret

snowy egret

Figuring out Traits:

  • A very white, medium-sized water fowl 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 drawback working their meals down to complete the job!


Curiously, 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 if you happen to see a heron which you can’t appear to establish, it could be a hybrid!


#21. Sandhill Crane

sandhill crane

Figuring out Traits:

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


For those who go to the best habitat, Sandhill Cranes are simple to identify in america. These water birds are giant, elegant, and placed on some fancy dancing whereas attempting 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 title of affection. ????


Sandhill Crane Vary Map

sandhill crane range map


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


In truth, these sounds will 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 dwell. The oldest one on document was no 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 best gentle.
  • On the base of the invoice, breeding adults have a naked patch of pink pores and skin surrounded by a white border. Pink 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 gorgeous 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 in search of earthworms, bugs, and crayfish.

White-faced Ibis Vary Map

white faced ibis range map

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


Whereas they’re feeding or flying, you could hear a smooth “oink,” which is usually repeated.


#23. White Ibis

white ibis

Figuring out Traits:

  • White our bodies and purple legs. The purple invoice is lengthy and curved.
  • A naked patch of purple 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 america is close to the coast. White Ibises usually forage collectively in giant teams in shallow wetlands in search of crustaceans and bugs.

White Ibis Vary Map

white ibis range map


These social water birds don’t prefer to be alone. Along with feeding, in addition 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 in search of meals or flying.

Lastly, I discover it fascinating 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. Widespread 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.


Widespread Loons are one in every of my FAVORITE water birds present in america.


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

Widespread Loon Vary Map

common loon range map


To assist forestall different birds from stealing their meals, Widespread Loons usually 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.


Considered one of my favourite issues about these birds is the great, 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:

  • Fully black, apart from a white sloping invoice.
  • Pink eyes.
  • Toes are NOT webbed, however as a substitute, they’re lengthy and lobed.


American Coots are distinctive water birds which can be fairly plentiful in america. At first look, they seem fairly like a duck, however they’re really 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 effectively on land. However don’t let this reality idiot you into considering they’ll’t swim, as a result of they’re EXCELLENT swimmers. Every one in every of their lengthy toes has lobes of pores and skin that assist them propel by means of the water.


These water birds are fairly vocal. Hear for quite a lot 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 apart from yellow-orange pores and skin across the base of the invoice.
  • Lengthy, hooked invoice. Eyes are a fairly turquoise shade.


Double-crested Cormorants are extremely distinctive wanting, with many individuals considering they look like a cross between a loon and goose. These professional divers eat nearly solely 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 america is to search for them on land with their wings unfold out. Double-crested Cormorants don’t have waterproof feathers, so after swimming, they need to dry them.


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


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


#27. Pied-billed Grebe

pied bill grebe

Figuring out Traits:

  • Small, chunky water fowl with a brief, thick invoice and nearly 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 america. They seem just 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 wonderful divers and eat varied crustaceans, amphibians, fish, and bugs. They’re nearly 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 gradual flyers.


Pied-billed Grebes don’t even lay their eggs on land! As an alternative, they usually assemble a bowl-shaped nest out of useless crops that sit straight on floating vegetation. On a facet observe, they’ve ADORABLE infants, which have cute black and white faces.


It may be arduous to identify one in every of these grebes, as they usually disguise amongst dense vegetation. Many occasions, it’s simpler to find one by listening for his or her distinct sounds. The most typical 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. Shiny purple 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 really probably the most plentiful grebe in the whole world!


Eared Grebe Vary Map

eared grebe range map


Curiously, yearly after they molt, they’re completely 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 in any case.


For a fowl that doesn’t prefer to fly and isn’t excellent at it, they certain do migrate a great distance! They journey as a lot as 3,700 miles (6000 km) to succeed in their wintering feeding grounds. Curiously, on their means 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 typically quiet, apart from through the breeding season, the place it’s potential to listen to a rising whistle that ends with a hiccup (ooEEK).

#29. Brown Pelican

brown pelican

Figuring out Traits:

  • Giant water fowl 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 arduous to mistake a Brown Pelican in america since no different water fowl appears fairly prefer it!


Brown Pelican Vary Map

brown pelican range map


After I’m visiting the seaside, I really like seeing the best way that Brown Pelicans elegantly fly simply over the water’s floor. Whereas these water birds are frequent in the present day, imagine it or not, they nearly went extinct within the mid twentieth century on account of 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 monumental throat pouch and swallowed complete.


Don’t trouble listening for them, as Brown Pelicans are principally silent creatures. You might hear loud popping sounds after they defend their nests, which is created from them snapping their payments collectively sharply.


#30. American White Pelican

white pelican

Figuring out Traits:

  • GIANT white water fowl 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 arduous to overlook on account of their huge dimension, and they’re one of many largest water birds in america. They usually weigh between 11 – 20 kilos (5.0 – 9.1 kg), but it surely’s their wingspan that’s most spectacular. When totally 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. In truth, people generally work collectively to herd fish to shallow areas to make them simpler to catch.


Curiously, chicks which can be nonetheless INSIDE the egg can squawk to convey discomfort if situations develop into too scorching or too chilly! In any other case, adults are typically silent.

To study much more, try these different guides!

A few of the vary maps under have been generously shared with permission from The Birds of The World, revealed 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 america?


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