Any of about 43 species (tribe Anatini; including 38 species in genus Anas) of ducks found worldwide, chiefly on inland waters and most commonly in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Strongly migratory, dabbling ducks include some of the world's finest game birds: the black duck, the gadwall, the garganey, the mallard, the pintail (perhaps the world's most abundant waterfowl), the shoveler, the teals, and the wigeons. They feed mainly on water plants, which they obtain by tipping-up in shallows and infrequently by diving. They often forage near the shore for seeds and insects. They have a flat, broad bill, float high in the water, and are swift fliers. Males are slightly larger and more boldly coloured than females.
Common, or northern, pintail (Anas acuta).—© Lawrence E. NaylorThe National Audubon Society Collection/Photo Researchers
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