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Any member of the family Anatidae, web-footed birds with a broad bill containing fine plates, or lamellae; usually stocky and often long-necked, including ducks, geese (seegoose), and swans. Waterfowl feed by dabbling, diving, or grazing. Most species are social and have an array of formal displays and group cohesion signals. Almost all breed in water. The female usually selects the nest site, builds the nest from any vegetation within reach, and incubates the 3–12 eggs. Shortly after hatching, the young imprint on their mother (seeimprinting). Many species are migratory.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on waterfowl, visit Britannica.com.