Waterfowl enjoy the abundance of lakes in Minnesota, which has 10,000 of them. The enormous duck population attracts birdwatchers and hunters alike to Minnesota. Puddle ducks and diving ducks may be found in all of Minnesota’s waters, and the state is home to a significant number of both species. We’re going to take a look at some of Minnesota’s ducks and learn a little about each of them in this article.
DUCKS IN MINNESOTA
Mallards, Pintails, Canvasbacks, Teals, and Wood Ducks are among the well-known ducks found in Minnesota, but there are a slew of lesser-known types such as Black Ducks and Buffleheads.
Take a look at the 17 ducks from Minnesota!
Scientific name: Anas platyrhynchos
Length: 24 inches
Mallards are perhaps the most well-known duck species. When people think of wild ducks, the characteristic green heads of the males are most likely what they imagine. Ducks may be seen in lakes, ponds, while wetlands, as well as in urban, suburban, and rural regions around the state of Minnesota.
2. GREEN-WINGED TEAL
Scientific name:Anas carolinensis
Length: 12.2-15.3 inches
Wingspan: 20.5-23.2 inches
Green-winged teal, the tiniest dabbling duck in North America, may be seen all year in Minnesota, preferring marshy and changeable marshes with trees nearby. They prefer to live in dense woodlands and breed there.
3. BLUE-WINGED TEAL
Scientific name: Anas discors
Length: 15 inches
Weight: 1 pound
Wingspan: 23 inches
Because they are particularly susceptible to cold weather, blue-winged teals migrate south earlier than most species. They favor open grassland to woods and small lakes and back bays. They’ll start to head south around the end of September, with some individuals venturing as far as Colombia.
4. CINNAMON TEAL
Scientific name: Anas cyanoptera
Length: 16 inches
Wingspan: 22 inches
The drakes (males) in these bids are named for the color cinnamon, which is what it seems to be. These are somewhat uncommon in Minnesota birds that are from the west. In the state’s southwestern corner, you’ll find them.
Scientific name: Anas acuta
Length: 23-30 inches
Weight: up to 3 pounds
Wingspan: 31-37 inches
One of the biggest ducks in North America is the pintail. While they can find open water, pintails are migratory and may overwinter in Minnesota. They’re mostly found in open wetlands in western Minnesota, especially in the state’s western regions.
Scientific name: Mareca strepera
Length: 18-22 inches
Wingspan: 31-35 inches
In North America, the gadwall is one of the most frequent dabbling ducks. They are mostly found in the northwest and west-central parts of Minnesota. The southern part of the state will also be home to certain populations during the winter. They dwell in marshes with deep vegetation, both above and below the surface.
Scientific name: Mareca americana
Length: 17-23 inches
Wingspan: 30-36 inches
While small numbers of these widespread birds may occasionally breed in Minnesota, they are typically only seen in the state during their rest stop. They may be found in shallow wetlands throughout the early summer/early autumn.
Scientific name: Spatula clypeata
Length: 19 inches
Weight: 1.3 pounds
Wingspan: 30 inches
The Shoveler may be seen year-round in Minnesota, especially in the southern areas, because of its large, shovel-like beak. During breeding season, they favor tiny wetland basins.
9. WOOD DUCK
Scientific name: Aix sponsa
Length: 19-21 inches
Wingspan: 26-29 inches
In the males with red beaks, wood ducks are small perching ducks with vivid colors. They prefer wooded marshy regions, shallow lakes, and marshes and may be found all over Minnesota. The southern two-thirds of the state are especially prone to them.
10. BLACK DUCK
Scientific name: Anas rubripes
Length: 21-23 inches
Weight: 1.6-3.6 pounds
Wingspan: 35-37 inches
Only in the northeastern part of Minnesota does the black duck exist, named for its dark, monotone colors. While Minnesota lies on the western edge of their range, there are scattered populations in various areas throughout the state. Like other ducks, it prefers wetlands, although it can be found in a variety of environments.
Scientific name: Aythya valisineria
Length: 19-22 inches
Weight: 1.9-3.5 pounds
Wingspan: 31-35 inches
The grey-brown backs of canvasbacks earned them the name. They breed throughout western and southern Minnesota during the summer, although they are only seen for a few months of the year. Prairie wetlands, commonly known as prairie potholes, are where you’ll find them.
Scientific name: Aythya americana
Length: 15 inches
Weight: 2-2.5 pounds
Wingspan: 33 inches
The redhead duck can be found across much of Minnesota during the breeding season, with the exception of the northeast corner, and is named for the red heads of males. You may frequently find them alongside canvasbacks because they favor little wetlands in open, non-wooded areas.
13. RING-NECKED DUCK
Scientific name: Aythya collaris
Length: 15-18 inches
Weight: 1-2 pounds
Wingspan: 24 inches
During the breeding season, Ring-necked Ducks may be found across most of the state, but they are more heavily concentrated in the north. They prefer wooded lakes and ponds. Omnivores, these ducks consume both plants and tiny insects.
Scientific name: Aythya affinis
Length: 15-19 inches
Weight: 1-2.5 pounds
Wingspan: 27-31 inches
In Minnesota, both the Lesser and Greater Scaup are scarce during their breeding season, although they may be found at other times. Preferred habitats include lakes and marsh ponds. During the breeding season, they favor tundra, indicating that Minnesota is outside of their primary breeding range. Despite this, they are a common sight.
15. COMMON GOLDENEYE
Scientific name: Bucephala clangula
Length: 18-20 inches
Weight: 2.2 pounds
Wingspan: 30-32 inches
Throughout the winter, most of Minnesota is home to the common goldeneye. The northernmost point of the duck’s breeding range is located here throughout the breeding season, and these birds may be found year-round, just in different locations. Winter they migrate to exposed water in non-wooded places, while woodland lakes and rivers are preferred for breeding.
Scientific name: Bucephala albeola
Length: 13-16 inches
Wingspan: 21.6 inches
During the breeding season, the Bufflehead may be found in the state’s extreme northeast corner, and throughout the state during migration. They can be found on Lake Superior’s waters throughout the winter. They prefer to congregate in very tiny groups and seldom do so in huge flocks.
17. RUDDY DUCK
Scientific name: Oxyura jamaicensis
Length: 13.5-17 inches
Weight: 1.2 pounds
Wingspan: 18.5 inches
The state of Minnesota is home to Ruddy ducks, who breed in marshy lakes and ponds. As opposed to the prairie potholes favored by other species, look for them in vast, non-wooded, permanent wetlands.