The Diving ducks belong to the Aythyinae subfamily. These ducks are agile swimmers that dive far beneath the surface of the water to get food, including small fishes, and aquatic plants; they also feed on snails and insects.
They are birds typical of large, deep lakes and rivers, coastal bays and inlets.
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(Noun) Diving ducks are social ducks, mainly found on fresh water or on estuaries; although the greater scaup undergo a change during the northern winter and becomes marine.
They are strong fliers; and their broad, pointed wings require faster wing-beats than those of many other ducks – they often take off with some difficulty.
Northern species tend to be migratory whilst the southern species do not migrate. Although the hardhead travels long distances on an occasional basis in response to rainfall.
Diving ducks as compared to the dabbling ducks do not walk so well on land; their legs are rear-sided: an adaptation to help propel them when underwater.
The Seaducks commonly found in coastal areas, such as the long-tailed duck, scoters, goldeneyes, bufflehead, eiders, and mergansers are also sometimes informally referred to in North America as diving ducks because they also feed by diving.
However, their subfamily (Merginae) is a very distinct one.
Note: A typical diving duck can remain underwater for a 1 minute or more. However, the duration of each dive depends on the depth of the forage.
Characteristics Of The Diving Ducks
1.They have rear sided legs, which helps them swim underwater.
2. They possess strong webbed feet and are very good swimmers; albeit having a unique flying technique.
3. They have smaller wings; this reduces their weight while under the water.
4. They can’t fly just by jumping off the water; they have to walk or hop on water until they can finally gain flight.
5. Diving ducks have a more rapid wingbeat than other species of ducks; they patter along the water before taking off.
6. They possess an indifferent trachea structure; and
7. Their speculums lack pure brilliance as compared to the local dabblers.
8. They all dive for food.
They are also called sea ducks, pochards or scaulp.
Feeding In Diving Ducks
The diving ducks are a category of duck which feed by diving beneath the surface of the water. I.e the get their food bu tipping up or immersing their heads in water, to grab food just below the water’s surface.
Courtship Behaviour In Diving Ducks
Diving ducks are usually the last of the ducks to establish pair bonds; a bond that typically occurs in late spring or winter and goes on and on, until the birds come about their breeding grounds.
Species Of Diving Ducks
Divers are honestly numerous, but there are some popular and familiar species of which some data have been collated.
Ring necked duck
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