Ducks In Ohio (18 Species With Pictures)

The state of Ohio is home to a variety of waterfowl due to its closeness to the Great Lakes and location along migratory routes. These birds are well-liked by birdwatchers and hunters for their gorgeous plumage as well as the beauty of the settings in which they live. The ducks of Ohio are the subject of this article.


At least 18 different duck species may be found in Ohio. Others live here year-round, while others are here only during the breeding season. The following is a list of the 18 ducks we’ve been able to confirm are part-time Ohio residents.


Length: 12.2-15.3 inches

Weight: 4.9-17.6oz

Wingspan: 20.5-23.2 inches

The smallest of dabbling ducks in Ohio and North America, the green-winged teal can be found in Ohio every fall and spring as they migrate between their breeding grounds and their wintering grounds. These fast flying birds will pass through the state quickly, so birdwatchers should keep a close eye on the skies during migration season if they want to spot them.

Males have a dark green patch around their eye and a brown head. Females are brown in color, with mottling on the head and body that is somewhat darker than that of other “dabbling” ducks.


Length: 15 inches

Weight: 1 pound

Wingspan: 23 inches

Because they are very sensitive to cold weather, blue-winged teals migrate south earlier than most species. Little lakes and backwaters are their favorites. Towards the end of September, they’ll start to migrate south, with some going as far as Colombia.

There is a small sliver of land along Lake Erie’s shores that is within their breeding range, although they are only visible as they migrate across the state. The male has a black head with a bright blue patch on its upper wing and a large white crescent in front of its eye. The majority of females are mottled brown.


Length: 24 inches

Weight: 2.5-3lbs

Wingspan: 2.7-3.2ft

Mallards are perhaps the most well-known ducks. When people think of wild ducks, the characteristic green heads of the males are generally what comes to mind. Ducks may be found in lakes, ponds, and wetlands across Ohio, as well as in cities, suburbs, and rural regions. They are a permanent fixture of this neighborhood.


Length: 23-30 inches

Weight: up to 3 pounds

Wingspan: 31-37 inches

In Ohio and North America, the pintail is one of the biggest ducks. Pintails migrate through Ohio on one of their major migratory routes. However, in the northern section of the state, there is a rearing population that lives here throughout the summer. With a somewhat long neck and a long stretched tail, male pintails have an elegant appearance.


Length: 17-23 inches

Weight: 1-3lbs

Wingspan: 30-36 inches

Wigeons are not a permanent resident in Ohio, although you may see them throughout the fall and spring as they fly through. Open wetlands, particularly damp meadows, are a favorite. Ohio is a flyover state for them, so you may have trouble locating them on the ground. Wigeons have a light blue beak with a black tip, which is found in both men and women. A little metallic green patch appears off the eye of males.


Length: 19-21 inches

Weight: 16-30oz

Wingspan: 26-29 inches

Little perching ducks that prefer to live in the woods are known as Wood Ducks. They prefer wooded swampy areas, shallow lakes, and marshes, and they’re common throughout Ohio during the breeding season. With multiple colors, stripes, and patterns, as well as a bright red eye, males are arguably one of the most striking ducks. The eye of the female is surrounded by a white tear drop shape. Females are mostly gray-brown in color.


Length: 21-23 inches

Weight: 1.6-3.6 pounds

Wingspan: 35-37 inches

The black duck is common in Ohio and is named for its dark, monotone colors. There is a year-round population in the state’s northeast corner. A population of back ducks spends the winter here in the rest of the state. Like most ducks, it favors wetlands, although it can be found in a variety of environments.


Length: 19-22 inches

Weight: 1.9-3.5 pounds

Wingspan: 31-35 inches

The long, sloping face of canvasbacks is a distinctive feature. Brown head, neck, and chest; black stomach and white body in males. They only winter in a small section of southwest Ohio, but they migrate throughout the fall and spring in most of Ohio. Prairie wetlands, sometimes known as prairie potholes, are where you’ll find them.


Length: 15 inches

Weight: 2-2.5 pounds

Wingspan: 33 inches

The redhead duck may be found all year along the banks of Lake Erie, named for the redheads of the males. The rest of the state is traversed by one of their primary migration routes during the winter, when they may be found in the southwest. They like tiny wetlands in open, non-forested regions, and hence may be spotted with canvasbacks frequently.


Length: 15-18 inches

Weight: 1-2 pounds

Wingspan: 24 inches

When they migrate south for the winter, ringnecks are a diving duck that can be found across most of the state. Since it’s merely a stopover on their way to their wintering grounds, they won’t stay here for long. Both males and females have a blue beak with a white band across the top, even though they appear different.


Length: 15-22 inches

Weight: 1.6-2.9 pounds

Wingspan: 28-33 inches

During the winter, the Greater Scaup can be found near Lake Erie’s shores in Ohio. During the summer, these massive birds go north to breed in frozen northern waters. They prefer lakes and are seldom seen outside of them in Ohio. Males have a yellow eye and a black head and chest. Females have a yellow eye and are brown with a white face around the beak.


Length: 18-20 inches

Weight: 2.2 pounds

Wingspan: 30-32 inches

Throughout the winter, Ohio’s common goldeneye can be found. Although they prefer wooded lakes and rivers for breeding, in the winter, they go to open water in non-wooded areas. Lakes and large ponds are good places to look for them. A white circular patch beneath a yellow eye distinguishes males from females.


Length: 13-16 inches

Weight: 9.5-19.4oz

Wingspan: 21.6 inches

Throughout the winter months, the Bufflehead may be found throughout most of Ohio. They prefer to congregate in tiny groups, rather than massive flocks. Lakes are a particularly appealing environment for them because they prefer huge, open bodies of water. With white sides, a massive white patch on the rear of the head, and an iridescent face, males have a distinct appearance.


Length: 13.5-17 inches

Weight: 1.2 pounds

Wingspan: 18.5 inches

Around the northern section of Ohio, ruddy ducks breed in marshes and ponds. They like to reside in or around wetlands, which makes them difficult to detect due to the dense vegetation. In Ohio, Ruddy Ducks seem to be extending their range. They have a stocky body with a fan-shaped tail that frequently sticks up. The beak, chestnut body, and white cheeks of breeding males are all bright blue.


Length: 18-22 inches

Weight: 30-35oz

Wingspan: 31-35 inches

In North America, the gadwall is a common dabbling duck. Because they are part of their non-breeding range, you’ll most likely find them in Ohio during the winter months. Open wetlands with thick vegetation are preferred by them.


Length: 19 inches

Weight: 1.3 pounds

Wingspan: 30 inches

The Shoveler, which may be found in Ohio throughout the autumn and spring, is easily recognized due to their enormous shovel-like beak. As migrants move between the northern Great Plains and the shore, Ohio is situated along some of their major migratory thoroughfares.


Length: 20-24 inches

Weight: 2-4.7 pounds

Wingspan: 31.5 inches

The biggest scoter in North America is the white-winged scoter. They, like the other scoters, are sea ducks and prefer to spend the winter along the shore. They only come to Ohio when they go from their tundra breeding grounds to the Atlantic coast. On their way to their wintering habitats, you may find them on the shores of Lake Erie resting and feeding.


Length: 17.5-23.5 inches

Weight: 1.63 pounds

Wingspan: 28 inches

The ornate tail feathers of the Long-tailed duck, which are only seen in males, are what give it its name. They, too, are exclusively found in Ohio throughout their migration from the Arctic to the Atlantic coasts, as are other sea ducks. When they travel, they stop to rest and eat along the way, passing through Eastern Ohio on their way.

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