Restart Bird Identification Expert

What was the primary COLOR of the Duck-like bird you saw in Alberta?



Greater White-fronted Goose: This medium-sized goose has a dark-brown body and the underparts are barred and flecked with black. The belly and under tail coverts are white. The front of the face has a white patch and the bill is usually pink. The legs are orange. It feeds on seeds, grain, grasses and berries. It has a steady direct flight with rapid wing beats. The sexes are similar.
Snow Goose: This large goose has two color phases. The White phase is all white with black wing tips. The Blue phase has a white head and neck, blue-gray upperparts, gray-brown breast and sides, white belly, pink bill, legs and feet and black lower mandible. Sexes are identical within each phase. Diet includes pasture grasses and grains. Strong direct flight in bunched flocks or U formations.
Ross's Goose: Small, white goose with black primary feathers and stubby gray-based red-orange bill. Red-orange legs and feet. Eats mostly fresh grasses and grains, often in the company of Snow Geese. Rapid direct flight with strong wing beats. Flies in a V formation. North America's smallest goose.
Brant: This small goose has dark brown upperparts and brown-barred, pale gray underparts. The head is black, and the short black neck has a partial white ring. The tail and vent are white. It has a heavy direct flight with strong wing beats. It flies in a straight line formation. It feeds on green plants including eel grass and sea lettuce. The sexes are similar.
Canada Goose: This long-necked goose has a large gray-brown body, large webbed feet and a wide flat bill. It has dark upperparts, paler underparts, a white vent, cheeks and chinstrap, and a black head and neck. Strong deep wing beats. Strong powerful direct flight. Fies in a in V formation in migration. Feeds on grasses, sedges, berries and seeds. Sexes are similar, but males are larger.
Tundra Swan: This small swan is completely snowy white. Its head and neck is often stained rust-brown from ferrous minerals in marsh soils. It has a black bill with a yellow spot at the base and black legs and feet. Diet includes aquatic vegetation and grass. Strong direct flight on steady wing beats. Flies in straight line or V formation. Most common swan in North America. Sexes are similar.
Trumpeter Swan: Largest swan in the world, completely white but with head and neck often stained rust-brown from contact with ferrous minerals in wetland soils. Bill, legs, and feet are black. Feeds on aquatic plants. Strong direct flight on steady wing beats. Flies in straight line or V formation.
Wood Duck: Small tree duck with brown back, white throat, purple-brown breast with white flecks grading to white belly; buff-yellow flanks. Crested head is green and purple with white stripes; white throat has two bars, one extends as a partial collar, the other extends behind and below eyes.
Mallard: This medium-sized duck has a gray body, chestnut-brown breast, green head, white neck ring, yellow bill, wing speculum is white-bordered metallic purple-blue, white edged dark tail, two curled black feathers, and orange legs and feet. Feeds on insects and crustaceans. Females are mottled brown with orange-brown bills and no curled tail feathers. Swift direct flight with strong wing beats.
American Black Duck: Stocky, medium-sized dabbling duck with dark brown body, paler face and foreneck, and purple speculum bordered with black. Head is finely streaked; dark eyestripe is distinct. White underwings contrast with dark brown body in flight. Legs, feet are orange. Swift direct flight.
Gadwall: This large dabbling duck has a finely barred gray body, black rump and under tail coverts, a white belly, and rust-brown shoulders. It has a gray-brown head and neck and gray bill. The wings have a black-bordered white speculum visible in flight. The legs and feet are yellow. It mostly feeds on submerged aquatic vegetation. It has a fast direct flight. The sexes are similar.
Falcated Duck: Medium dabbling duck with long black and white tertial feathers extending over black rump. Body white, black, gray in finely-scaled pattern. The crested iridescent head is green and purple-brown. White throat has black ring; black tail and black-green speculum are edged in white.
Green-winged Teal: This small dabbling duck has pale, gray-barred sides and a buff breast with a white bar down the side. The head is chestnut-brown with a green ear patch, the bill is dark gray, and the legs and feet are olive-gray. The speculum is flashy green bordered with brown above and white below. Diet includes seeds, insects and grasses. Flight is often low and erratic. Sexes are similar.
American Wigeon: This is a medium-sized duck with a brown body, white crown, a large green ear patch extending to the back of the head, buff washed breast and sides and a white belly. It has a swift direct flight with strong wing beats. Shoulder patches are visible in flight. It has a black-tipped pale blue bill. It feeds on aquatic plants, insects and mollusks. The sexes are similar.
Eurasian Wigeon: This large dabbling duck has a gray back, finely speckled gray flanks, a dark rufous-brown head, buff crown and forehead, pale rufous brown breast, neck and upper back, a white belly and gray legs and feet. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats.The wings have white shoulder patches and a green speculum visible in flight. Feeds primarily on pond weeds. Sexes are similar.
Northern Pintail: This large duck has gray and black upperparts, white neck and underparts, gray sides, long black pointed tail, brown head, throat and nape. White stripe divides front and back of neck, green speculum is bordered by buff. Feeds on seeds and aquatic insects. Females are mottled brown all over with slim, tan head, long neck and a shorter tail. Direct flight with rapid wing beats.
Northern Shoveler: This is a medium-sized dabbling duck with a large spoon-shaped bill. Males have a dark green head, dark bill, orange legs, yellow eyes, white breast and chestnut patch on the flanks; females are mottled light brown with orange-brown bill and legs and dark eyes. They feed mostly on aquatic plants and seeds. They have a strong direct flight with powerful rapid wing beats.
Blue-winged Teal: This small dabbling duck has a purple-gray head and a distinct white crescent on the face. The upperparts are scaled buff and dark brown; underparts are pale brown with many dark spots. The wings have a green speculum and a pale blue shoulder patch visible in flight. Flight is fast and direct with steady wing beats. It mainly feeds on plants. The sexes look similar.
Cinnamon Teal: This small duck has scaled dark brown upperparts, cinnamon-brown underparts, head and neck, red eyes, long dark bill and yellow-gray legs. White line divides green speculum and pale blue shoulder patch on wing. Female is brown-scaled overall with dull blue shoulder patch, dark eyes and pale edged upper mandible. Feeds on seeds and insects. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats.
Garganey: This small dabbling duck has black-streaked, gray upperparts, chestnut-brown mottled face and breast, pale gray flanks, and a white stripe above the eye that runs down the neck. The wings have pale blue shoulder patches and a dark green speculum with white borders visible in flight. Fast direct flight with rapid wing beats. Diet includes aquatic invertebrates. Sexes are similar.
Canvasback: This is a large, flashy diving duck with a pale gray body, black breast and tail and gray legs and feet. The head is red-brown with a long sloping profile, a long dark bill and red eyes. It feeds primarily on aquatic plants. It has a rapid direct flight with strong wing beats and flies high, usually in V- formations. The sexes are similar.
Redhead: This medium-sized diving duck has a gray back and sides, black upper back, breast, rump and tail, and white belly. The head and neck are rufous-brown, and the blue-gray bill is black-tipped; eyes are yellow. Females are duller and browner, with a light area around the base of the bill. Feeds mostly on aquatic vegetation. Rapid direct flight with strong wing beats, flies in V formation.
Ring-necked Duck: This medium-sized diving duck has black upperparts, a weakly tufted, purple-black head, black neck, upper breast and tail, cinnamon collar, white lower breast and belly, pale gray sides, and a blue-gray bill with a white ring near the black tip. Female is drab brown with white eye ring. Feeds on submerged plants and aquatic invertebrates. Direct flight with rapid wing beats.
Tufted Duck: Medium-sized duck has long black crest, black back and tail, white underparts and sides, black head, neck and breast with purple sheen, black wings with dark-edged, white stripes visible in flight, yellow eyes and gray legs and feet. Female is brown overall, dark breast, pale sides, white belly and gray bill. Feeds on insects and seeds. Swift direct flight with steady wing beats.
Greater Scaup: This large diving duck has a glossy green-black head, white sides and belly, black tail, neck and breast, barred gray flanks and back. The eyes are yellow and the bill is blue-gray with a black tip. The diet includes aquatic insects and plants. It has a rapid direct flight with strong rapid wing beats. The female is dull brown with a white patch on the face at base of bill.
Lesser Scaup: Medium-sized diving duck has finely barred gray back and gray-washed white underparts. Head, neck and breast are black with purple gloss. It has yellow eyes, blue-gray bill, black tail and black wings with white patches. Females are chocolate brown with lighter sides, red-brown head and white patch at base of dark gray bill. Feeds on seeds. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats.
Common Eider: Large diving duck (v-nigrum), with distinctive sloping forehead, black body, white breast and back. Crown is black and nape is pale green. Wings are white with black primary and secondary feathers. Tail and rump are black. Bill is dull yellow to gray-green (eastern) or orange-yellow (western).
King Eider: Large diving duck with black body and white breast, back. The crown and nape are pale blue; distinct bill is orange-red, sweeping upward into a large, orange basal knob outlined in black. Wings are black with large white patches visible in flight. Tail has white patches at the base.
Harlequin Duck: Small diving duck, blue-gray upperparts and underparts, rust-brown flanks. Back, breast and neck have vivid black-bordered white bars. Tail is dark and relatively long. Gray legs, feet. Feeds on insects, mollusks and crustaceans. Rapid direct flight, often low over the water.
Long-tailed Duck: This small duck has black upperparts, head, neck, breast and wings; brown mottled black back, white flanks, belly, under tail coverts. Long black tail with long slender feathers, pale gray mask and black bill with dark pink saddle. Feeds on aquatic insects. Female is duller, lacks long tail, and has gray bill. Swift direct flight often with erratic side-to-side turns of body.
Surf Scoter: This medium-sized diving duck is entirely black except for white patches on the forehead and nape. It has an orange, black and white bill, white eyes and orange legs and feet. The female is less distinctly marked with smudgy face patches and dark bill. It dives for food, primarily mollusks and crustaceans. Rapid direct flight with strong wing beats. Flies in straight line formation.
Black Scoter: Medium diving duck, entirely black except for yellow knob at base of black bill. Legs and feet are black. The male is the only all black duck in North America. Dives for food, primarily eats mollusks. Strong direct flight with rapid wing beats. Flies in straight line and V formation.
White-winged Scoter: Medium sea duck, mostly black except for white eye patches, large white wing patches. Bill is orange with large black basal knob. Red-orange legs, feet. Dives to 40 feet, feeds primarily on shellfish. Direct flight with steady wing beats. Flies in straight line or V formation.
Bufflehead: This small diving duck is mostly white with a glossy green-black to purple-black head and back. The head has a large white patch behind eye. The wings are dark with white patches visible in flight. It feeds on aquatic plant seeds, and insects, larvae and snails. It has a swift direct flight with rapid wing beats. The sexes are similar.
Common Goldeneye: Medium diving duck, white-striped black upperparts, white underparts. Head is iridescent green-black with white circular patch between yellow eyes and dark gray bill. Wings are dark with large white patches conspicuous in flight. Legs and feet are yellow. Swift, direct flight.
Barrow's Goldeneye: Medium diving duck with black upperparts, contrasting white shoulder bars, white underparts. Head is large, glossy, and purple-black with golden yellow eyes and a crescent-shaped white patch behind a dark bill. White wing patches are visible in flight. Yellow legs and feet.
Smew: Small merganser, mostly white body except for black back, mask, breast bar, and V-shaped nape patch. Wings are dark with large white patches. Gray legs, feet. Feeds on fish, aquatic insects, and their larvae. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats. Flies in straight line or V formation.
Hooded Merganser: This small merganser has black upperparts, white underparts with two black bars on side of breast, and red-brown flanks. The crest shows a large white patch when raised; white stripe extends backwards from eye when lowered. Feeds on fish and aquatic insects. Dark wings have white shoulder patch visible in flight. Rapid direct flight with fast wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Common Merganser: Large, sleek diving duck with black upperparts and white underparts. Head and upper neck are green-black with head crest usually not visible. Long, thin bill is bright red. Wings are black with extensive white patches. Feeds on fish, mollusks, crustaceans, insects and plants.
Red-breasted Merganser: This medium-sized diving duck has black upperparts, gray sides, rust-brown breast, white belly, green head, double crests and neck, and white neck ring. The long thin bill, legs and feet are bright orange. Females are brown-gray with gray-washed, red-brown head, double crest and white breast and belly. Feeds mostly on small fish. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats.
Ruddy Duck: This small, bright red-brown duck has a black cap extending below the eyes onto the nape, heavy blue bill and black tail. Some males have an all black head lacking white cheek patches. Females have a gray-brown neck and body, dull buff-brown head and neck sides, with a stripe across pale-gray cheek patch. Feeds on aquatic invertebrates and vegetation. Direct flight on rapid wing beats.
Red-throated Loon: Small loon with scaled gray back and white underparts. Head and sides of neck are gray, throat is dark red, nape is black-and-white striped. Eyes are red. Feeds on fish, dives to 90 feet for them. Direct flight, rapid wing beats. Only loon to leap into flight from water or land.
Pacific Loon: This medium-sized loon has a black-and-white checkered back and white underparts. It has a gray crown and nape, red eyes and a slender black bill. Iridescent throat patch can appear purple, green or black. Feeds mostly on fish, some crustaceans and insects. Flight is direct with rapid wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Common Loon: Large loon, white-spotted, black upperparts and white underparts. Head, neck are green-black with white-streaked neckbands. Bill is black and thick. Eyes are red-brown. Dives for small fish and crustaceans. Direct flight on strong deep wing beats, head, neck and feet extend beyond body.
Yellow-billed Loon: Large loon, white-spotted black upperparts, white underparts, gray sides with fine white spots. Head is glossy green-black; neck has black-and-white rings. Yellow bill. Dives for small fish, crustaceans. Direct flight on deep wing beats. Solitary, or in pairs and family groups.
Pied-billed Grebe: This medium-sized, stocky grebe has brown upperparts, paler brown underparts with barred sides and flanks and distinct white under tail coverts. It has a black chin, a white bill with a central black ring and dark eyes. Feeds on aquatic insects, vegetation, small fish and crustaceans. Direct flight with rapid wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Horned Grebe: Small grebe, red-brown neck, breast and flanks, nearly black throat and back. Head has black cap, white face, conspicuous buff-orange to yellow ear plumes. Bill is dark with white tip, eyes are dark red. Feeds on aquatic insects, fish and crustaceans. Direct flight on rapid wing beats.
Eared Grebe: This small grebe has black upperparts, dark chestnut-brown flanks and white underparts. The head and neck are black. There are orange feathers on the face, the eyes are red, and the legs and feet are black. It feeds on aquatic insects and crustaceans. It has a direct flight with rapid wing beats. The sexes are similar in appearance.
Red-necked Grebe: This large grebe has dark gray upperparts and cap, white lower face and nape, white underparts with gray flanks, red-brown neck and dark brown eyes. It has a long thick yellow bill with a dark tip and black legs and feet. Dives for small fish and crustaceans. Direct flight on rapid wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Clark's Grebe: Large grebe, gray-black upperparts, white underparts, and slender neck with white on front and black on back. White face, black cap extends nearly to red eyes. Bill is yellow-orange. Until the 1980's thought to be a pale morph of the Western Grebe. Direct flight on rapid wing beats.
Western Grebe: Large, long-necked grebe with dark gray upperparts, white underparts, gray sides and flanks. Lower face and front of neck are white; black cap extends below eye. Back of neck is black. Eyes are red. Bill is long, thin, and dull olive-yellow. Winter birds are duller gray and juveniles are light gray overall. Wings have white stripes visible in flight.
American White Pelican: Huge, white seabird, enormous outstretched wings show black primaries, outer secondaries in flight. Bill, legs are bright orange, upper bill develops a fibrous keel during breeding season. Slow, deep wing beats. Soars high on thermals. Flies in straight line or V formation.
American Coot: Medium-sized, chicken-like swimming bird, dark gray to black overall, short, white bill and undertail coverts. Toes are lobed, not webbed. Upper edge of frontal shield is red, but usually only visible at close range. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats, feet protrude past tail.
 
Restart Bird Identification Expert