Birds by Name – D

Dove

Collared Dove

Collared Dove, Nerja

Dove, Nerja

Namaqua Dove

Namaqua Dove

Namaqua Dove

Turtle Dove

Turtle Dove

Turtle Dove

Duck

Australian Wood Duck

The Australian Wood Duck, Chenonetta jubata, is classed as a dabbling duck and is found throughout much of Australia and Tasmania. There is apparently some debate as to whether this duck belongs in the Anatinae (dabbling duck) or Todornnae (shelduck) sub-family. As it generally ‘dabbles’ in shallow water, sounds like it should be Anatinae.

Australian Wood Duck

The male is grey with a dark brown head and mottled breast. The female has white stripes above and below the eye and mottled underparts. It has a wingspan of up to 51 centimetres, making it look more like a small goose.

Australian Wood Duck

Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Subfamily: Anatinae or Tadorninae
Genus: Chenonetta
Species: C. jubata

Chinese Spot-billed Duck

Chinese Spot-billed Duck

Comb-bill Duck

Comb-bill Duck

Comb-bill-Duck

Common Eider

Common Eider, female

Common Eider, male

Falcated Duck

Falcated Duck, female

Falcated Duck, Male

Flacated Duck, Male

Ferruginous Duck

The Ferruginous Duck, Aythya nyroca, is a rich mahogany red dabbling duck which is in decline throughout Europe. The males have white eyes and a greyish bill with a black tip. They also have a patch of white at the back under the tail which helps distinguish them from the fairly similar Tufted duck.

Ferruginous Duck

Their breeding habitat is marshes and lakes with a metre or more water depth in southern and eastern Europe and southern and western Asia. They often winter farther south and into north Africa.

They eat aquatic plants supplemented with a few molluscs, aquatic insects and small fish.

Ferruginous Duck stretching after preening itself

Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Subfamily: Aythyinae
Genus: Aythya
Species: A. nyroca

Gadwall

The Gadwall, Anas strepera, is a grey-coloured dabbling duck belonging to the family Anatidae and breeds in northern Europe, Asia and central North America. It is usually found near reservoirs, gravel pits and lakes where there is abundant vegetation.

Gadwall, male

The Gadwall, slightly smaller than a Mallard, grows up to 56 centimetres in length and can have a wingspan of up to 90 centimetres.

The male is patterned grey with a distinct black rear end, chestnut brown wings with a white patch. The slightly smaller female is light brown, a bit like a female Mallard, with a white belly.

Gadwall, female

The Gadwall eats leaves, seeds and other vegetation.

Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Subfamily: Anatinae
Genus: Anas
Species: A. strepera

Garganey

Garganey, Male

Goldeneye

Goldeneye, female

Goldeneye, male

Goldeneye, male

Goosander

The Goosander, Mergus merganser, or Common Merganser is a large, shy diving duck with a long serrated hooked bill for grasping fish and is found near rivers and lakes of forested areas of Europe, northern and central Asia, and North America. It nests in holes in trees.

Goosander

The Goosander grows to between 58 and 72 centimetres in length with a wingspan of between 78 and 97 centimetres. Adult males in breeding plumage have a white with a bit of a salmon-pink tinge, a black head with a green gloss, grey rump and tail. Females, and males in non-breeding plumage, are mainly grey, with a reddish-brown head, white chin, and white secondary feathers on the wing. Juveniles of both sexes are similar to adult females but also have a short black-edged white stripe between the eye and bill.

Female goosander

They eat fish, fish and more fish.

Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Subfamily: Merginae
Genus: Mergus
Species: M. merganser

Hardhead

Hardhead

Hooded Merganser

Hooded Merganser

Hooded Merganser

Lesser Scaup

Lesser Scaup, male

Mallard

The Mallard or Wild Duck, Anas platyrhynchos, is a dabbling duck found throughout the world and has even been introduced to New Zealand and Australia. In addition, the Mallard is the ancestor of almost all of the varieties of domestic ducks, others being descended from the Muscovy Duck and American Black Duck.

Mallard pair

The Mallard has a long body and a long and broad bill. The male has a dark green head, a yellow bill, is mainly purple-brown on the breast and grey on the body. The female is mainly brown with an orange bill.

Mallard, Woodley

However, Mallards have a tendency to interbreed with other species of the genus Anas which means you can get a variety of sizes and colourings, making identification a little more difficult on occasion.

Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Anas
Species: A. platyrhynchos

Mandarin

The Mandarin Duck, Aix galericulata, is an easlily recognisable (for a change) medium-sized perching duck in the Anatidae family and is closely related to the North American Wood Duck. It grows to between 41 and 49 centimetres in length and has a wingspan of between 65 and 75 centimetres.

Mandarin Male

The male has a red bill, large white crescent above the eye and a reddish face. The breast is purple with two vertical white bars and the flanks are ruddy coloured with what look like two orange sails at the back.

The female is similar to female Wood Duck and has a white eye-ring and stripe running back from the eye. It is is paler or duller coloured below with a small white flank stripe and a pale tip to its bill.

Female Mandarin

Originally from Asia, particularly China, Japan and Russia, it became popular as an ornamental duck. In the process, many escaped and large feral populations have thrived in many areas.

Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Aix
Species: A. galericulata

Muscovy Duck

Muscovy Duck

Muscovy Duck

Muscovy Duck

Muscovy Duck

Pacific Black Duck

The Pacific Black Duck, Anas superciliosa, is a dabbling duck found in much of Indonesia, New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand and on many islands in the south-western Pacific.

Pacific Black Duck

The Pacific Black Duck grows up to around 60 centimetres in length. It has a dark body, a pale greyish neck, a dark crown and stripes, or flashes, on its face.

Often sharing the same territory as Mallards, there has been a lot of cross-breeding or hybridisation, as is often the case when Mallards are about.

Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Subfamily: Anatinae
Genus: Anas
Species: A. superciliosa

Philippine Duck

Philippine Duck

Pintail

Greater White-cheeked Pintail

Greater White-cheeked Pintail

Greater White-cheeked Pintail

Red-billed Pintail

Red-billed Pintail

Red-billed Pintail

Pochard

The Pochard, Aythya ferina, is a medium-sized diving duck found in lakes and marshes with a water depth in excess of one metre.

Pochard

The adult male has a long dark bill with a grey band, a red head and neck, a black breast, red eyes and a grey back. The adult female is a bit less distinctive with a brown head and body and a narrower grey band on the bill. However, the triangular shape of the head makes them stand out from the crowd.

Pochards are migratory and generally winter in the south and west of Europe. They feed mainly by diving or dabbling, eating aquatic plants, molluscs, aquatic insects and small fish.

Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Subfamily: Aythyinae
Genus: Aythya
Species: A. ferina

Red-crested Pochard

Red-crested Pochard, female

Red-crested Pochard, male

Rosy-billed Pochard

Rosy-billed Pochard

Rosy-billed Pochard

Rosy-billed Pochard

Redhead

Redhead, female

Redhead, male

Ring-necked Duck

Ring-necked Duck, female

Shelduck

Australian Shelduck

The Australian Shelduck, Tadorna tadornoides, is a large duck, very goose-like, belonging to the bird family Anatidae.

Australian Shelduck

The male is predominantly dark, has a chestnut brown breast, white neck collar and dark green head. The female is very similar, but has white around the eyes.

The Australian Shelduck breeds in southern Australia and Tasmania and moves further north during the winter. It is usually found in quite open areas and makes its nest in tree holes, holes in banks and other similar places.

Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Subfamily: Tadorninae
Genus: Tadorna
Species: T. tadornoides

Common Shelduck

The Common Shelduck, Tadorna tadorna, is a colourful waterfowl in the genus Tadorna and is widespread and common throughout Eurasia.

Shelduck, Torremolinos

It is a big, colourful duck, its size being in between that of most other ducks and the larger geese. Both sexes have a dark green head and neck, a chestnut belly stripe and a red bill.

Shelduck, Torremolinos

The Shelduck has a loud goosey-like ‘honk’ rather than a duck-like ‘quack’.

It eats invertebrates, small shellfish and aquatic snails.

Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Subfamily: Tadorninae
Genus: Tadorna
Species: T. tadorna

Black-backed Radjah Shelduck

Radjah Shelduck

Ruddy Shelduck

The Ruddy Shelduck is becoming quite rare in Spain so it was nice to find this one on the lake in Parque de la Paloma in Benalmádena. This one, I believe, is a female.

Ruddy Shelduck

The Ruddy Shelduck, Tadorna ferruginea, is a member of the duck, goose and swan family Anatidae and is migratory, wintering in India and other parts of Asia.

Ruddy Shelduck

Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Subfamily: Tadorninae
Genus: Tadorna
Species: T. ferruginea

South African Shelduck

The South African Shelduck or Cape Shelduck, Tadorna cana, is quite a large duck, growing to about 64 centimetres in length. The male has a grey head. the female has a white face and black crown, nape and sides of the neck, making them quite easy to tell apart.

The South African Shelduck breeds in southern Africa and during the southern winter it generally migrates to the north-east.

South African Shelduck South African Shelduck

Order: Anseriformes

Family: Anatidae
Subfamily: Tadorninae
Genus: Tadorna
Species: T. cana

Shoveler

Australasian Shoveler

The Australasian Shoveler, Anas rhynchotis, is a dabbling duck in the genus Anas and are usually found in swampy areas of Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand. It grows to between 46 and 53 centimetres in length.

Australasian Shoveler, male

The male has a blue-grey head with a vertical white strip in front of the eyes.

The female is a bit duller in many ways, and is more different shades of brown and no eye stripe.

Australasian Shoveler, female

Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Subfamily: Anatinae
Genus: Anas
Species: A. rhynchotis

Red Shoveler

Red Shoveler

Smew

Smew, female

Smew, male

Smew, male

South African Yellow-billed Duck

South African Yellow-billed Duck

South African Yellow-billed Duck

Teal

Blue-winged Teal

Blue-winged Teal

Blue-winged Teal

Cape Teal

Cape Teal

Common Teal

The Eurasian Teal, Common Teal or just plain Teal, Anas crecca, is a small dabbling duck which breeds in temperate Eurasia and migrates south in winter.

Teal

Males have a chestnut coloured head with broad green eye-patches, a spotted chest, grey flanks and a black edged yellow tail. Females are a mottled brown. In flight, both sexes have bright green wing patches.

Teal, male and female

It is one of the smallest of the dabbling ducks.

Teal eat small invertebrates and seeds.

Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatinae
Genus: Anas
Species: A. crecca

Greater Brazilian Teal

Greater Brazilian Teal

Greater Brazilian Teal

Greater Brazilian Teal

Laysan Teal

Laysan Teal

Laysan Teal

Puma Teal

Puma Teal

Puma Teal

Whistling Duck

Black-bellied Whistling Duck

Black-bellied Whistling Duck

Wandering Whistling Duck

Wandering Whistling Duck

Wandering Whistling Duck

West Indian Whistling Duck

West Indian Whistling Duck

White-faced Whistling Duck

White-faced Whistling Duck

White-faced Whistling Duck

Wigeon

Chloe Wigeon

Chloe Wigeon

Chloe Wigeon

Chloe Wigeon

Eurasian Wigeon

The Wigeon is a small to medium-sized dabbling duck in the genus Anas. It has a round head and small bill. The head and neck of the male are chestnut brown, the forehead is yellow, the breast is pinky and the body is grey. In flight they show white bellies and males have a large white wing patch.

Wigeon

Wigeons are quite happy to hybridise, as are Mallards, so watch out for some interesting crosses.

Wigeon

Wigeons eat various sorts of aquatic plants, roots and grasses.

Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Anas
Subgenus: Mareca

Wood Duck

The Wood Duck or Carolina Duck, Aix sponsa, is a colourfiul, a medium-sized perching duck from North America. Adult males are between 47 and 54 centimetres long and have a wingspan of between 66 and 73 centimetres.

Wood Duck, male

As might be noted from the colouring, it shares its genes with the Asian Mandarin Duck, Aix galericulata. The females are not as colourful as the males.

Wood Duck, female

Wood Ducks nest in trees and when the ducklings leave the nest, they have reportedly been known to jump from a height of over 80 metres without injuring themselves. The parents try to build their nests in trees over water to give the little ones a soft(ish) landing.

Wood Ducks mainly eat berries, acorns, and seeds, but will also eat insects.

Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Aix
Species: A. sponsa

Dunlin

The Dunlin, Calidris alpina, is a small migratory wader, sometimes forming large flocks on coastal mudflats or sandy beaches. It has a slightly down-curved bill and a distinctive black belly patch in breeding plumage.

Dunlin

Juveniles are brown above with two whitish ‘V’ shapes on the back and usually have black marks on the flanks or belly and displasy a strong white wingbar in flight.

Dunlins eat insects, snails and worms.

Dunlin

Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Scolopacidae
Genus: Calidris
Species: C. alpina

Dunnock

The Dunnock, Prunella modularis, is a small, Robin-sized passerine bird of the Accentor family and is found throughout temperate Europe.

Dunnock

It is a bird of woodland, shrub and gardens and builds a neat nest low in a bush or conifer, laying 3-5 unspotted blue eggs.

The Dunnock grows to about 14 cm in length, has a brownish underneath and a fine pointed bill. Adults have a grey head and the sexes are fairly similarly coloured.

Dunnock

Dunnocks eat insects, spiders, worms and seeds which means that those in the colder areas of their range have to migrate.

Order: Passeriformes
Family: Prunellidae
Genus: Prunella
Species: P. modularis