A few New Mexico birds: Anseriformes


Anseriformes includes ducks, geese, and swans. Birds are presented in alphabetical order by family, genus, and species. Hover over a photo series to control the images.

Anatidae: Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)


Anatidae: Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)


Green-Winged Teal (Anas carolinensis)

On the males the patch of bright green, sweeping back from the eye in an otherwise cinnamon-colored head, is distinctive. As one of my photos shows, the eye patch can flash blue instead of green. In the same photo, you can barely see the small patch of green (or in this light, blue) that sometimes shows on a female's wing. 


Anatidae: Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)


Anatidae: Ring-Necked Duck (Aythya collaris)

Don't look for an obvious ring. Instead, look for a subtle reddish tinge ring at the base of the neck. The duck in these photos had his neck scrunched down so the ring was mostly hidden. In one photo you can see a tiny bit of the ring, indicated with an arrow.


Anatidae: Canvasback (Aythya valisineria)


Anatidae: Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)

The Canada Geese seen along the Rio Grande in Albuquerque include a resident population and a much larger number of winter visitors.


Anatidae: American Wigeon (Mareca americana)


Anatidae: Gadwall (Mareca strepera)


Anatidae: Common Merganser (Mergus merganser)

In Eurasia, this species is known as a goosander.


Anatidae: Red-Breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)

Shooting into the sun at maximum camera range makes for poor photos. Still, you can see the key characteristics for identifying a female Red-Breasted Merganser: the thin red bill, the delightfully shaggy orange-brown head, and the gray body.


 Anatidae: Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)

Ruddy Duck, Oxyura jamaicensis, New Mexico
Rio Grande Bosque, Albuquerque, May 2016


On breeding male ruddy ducks, the blue bill stands out! Unfortunately, during my one encounter with a breeding male, he was napping with the bill tucked away. When he pulled out his bill my photo was blurred; I'll include it as a thumbnail to the left so you can at least see the color.


Anatidae: Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)


Cinnamon Teal (Spatula cyanoptera)