6 Tips to Recognizing Waterfowl


Many years ago, American Hunter’s Kyle Wintersteen was hunting waterfowl on the Potomac River with friends when he could have dropped a canvasback. Instead, Wintersteen missed his chance because he and his hunting buddy misidentified the canvasbacks as bluebills.

keys_waterfowl_id_f Photo by American Hunter

I literally dropped to my knees in despair. Not only could we have shot canvasbacks on that day a few years back, but a prime, mount-worthy drake remains my elusive white whale. The failure to properly identify ducks on the wing can lead to such missed opportunities or even land you on the wrong side of the law. Therefore improving this skill set should be every hunter’s ongoing effort.

Just as turkey hunters must know how to correctly identify toms to avoid illegally shooting a jake or hen during certain seasons, waterfowl hunters can follow a few simple tips for identifying birds in flight. Find out more in this informative article.

Photos: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (top); American Hunter (above)

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Shannon Rikard
Shannon Rikard is a freelance writer and photographer with a passion for conservation and wedding and portrait photography. The Archery Trade Association and National Wild Turkey Federation have published her work. A self-professed word geek, she enjoys Wheel of Fortune, crossword puzzles, and finding a dynamite synonym to illustrate any point. After starting her career in public relations with a national conservation organization, she ventured out on her own with Copper Door Studios.