Dabbling ducks, or puddle ducks, frequent shallow waters such as flooded fields and marshes.

Diving ducks, also called sea ducks, are typically birds of large, deep lakes and rivers, coastal bays and inlets. Their speculums lack the brilliance of those on most dabblers.

Geese spend a large amount of time on land, as they graze on grasses and other land plants, in addition to eating some aquatic plants.

Waterfowl which do not fall under dabbling, diving, or geese categories are whistling ducks, sandhill cranes, and swans – the largest waterfowl species.

The following is only a sample of the wide variety of other water birds you may find in wetlands and associated habitats.


Pied Billed Grebe

Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation