Perching Duck Identification


Perching Ducks (Cairininae or Cairinini) include the Blue Duck, Brazilian Duck, Comb Duck, Hartlaub's Duck, Australian Wood Duck, Mandarin Duck, Muscovy Duck, Pink-eared Duck, Pygmy Goose (African, Cotton, and Green), Ringed Teal, Salvadori's Teal, Torrent Duck, White-winged Duck, and American Wood Duck.

Perching Ducks are so called because they like to perch high in trees beside the water. They nest in tree cavities and have strong claws to help them grip. They prefer a habitat of wooded lakes and rivers.

Click on the Duck photographs to enlarge them or if you click on the Duck's name then it will take you to another page with information, more photos, and sometimes a video of that particular Duck.

Dabbling Ducks| Diving Ducks| Stiff-tail Ducks| Sea Ducks| Shelducks| Whistling Ducks
Female Ducks| All types of Duck| Duck Eclipse Plumage

Click to enlarge Blue Duck
(Hymenolaimus Malacorhynchos)
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Click to enlarge Brazilian Duck
(Amazonetta Brasiliensis)
Photo: Dave Key
Click to enlarge Comb Duck
(Sarkidiornis Melanotos)
Photo: Dave Key
Click to enlarge Hartlaub's Duck
(Pteronetta Hartlaubii)
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Click to enlarge Australian Wood Duck
(Chenonetta Jubata)
Photo: Dave Key
Click to enlarge Mandarin
(Aix Galericulata)
Photo: Dave Key
Click to enlarge Muscovy Duck
(Cairina Moschata)
Photo: Dave Key
Click to enlarge Pink-eared Duck
(Malacorhynchus Membranaceus)
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Click to enlarge African Pygmy Goose
(Nettapus Auritus)
Photo: Dave Key
Click to enlarge Cotton Pygmy Goose
(Nettapus Coromandelianus)
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Click to enlarge Green Pygmy Goose
(Nettapus Pulchellus)
Photo: gillian_in_brussels and Animal Photos!
Click to enlarge Ringed Teal
(Callonetta Leucophrys)
Photo: Dave Key
Click to enlarge Torrent Duck
(Merganetta Armata)
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Click to enlarge White-winged Duck
(Asarcornis Scutulata)
Photo: Dave Key
Click to enlarge American Wood Duck
(Aix Sponsa)
Photo: Dave Key

Blue Duck: The Blue Duck has a bluish-grey plumage with a chestnut spotted breast, yellow eyes, a pinkish-white beak with black nail and fleshy flaps of skin hanging from the sides of its tip , grey wings, and dark-brown legs and feet. Both sexes are alike.
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Brazilian Duck: The male has a light-brown plumage, dark crown, pale grey cheeks, red beak, dark-brown eyes, rufous brown breast, brown-black tail, iridescent green-blue upper wings and dark lower wings, and legs and feet are orange-red. The female is similar but has a duller plumage, grey beak, a small white patch above the eye, white throat, and duller legs and feet.
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Comb Duck: The Comb Duck has a white head & upper neck with dark freckled spots, darker crown, dark brown eyes, dark beak, the male has a large black knob on the beak, the lower neck and underparts are pure white, the upperparts, tail, and wings are glossy black with a bluish-green iridescence, and legs and feet are dark grey. Both sexes are similar except the male is larger with a large black knob on the beak and the female has a less glossy plumage.
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Hartlaub's Duck: The male Hartlaub's Duck has a black head and neck and can sometimes have variable white patches on the crown, forehead and base of beak, the beak is black with a pinkish-white tip and black nail, the male's beak can sometimes be swollen at the base during the breeding season, reddish-brown eyes, a chestnut-brown body, the tail, rump, and upper wing are olive-brown, the upperwing coverts are blue, and the legs and feet are a dark yellow-brown. The female is similar but is slightly duller and has little or no white markings on the head.
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Australian Wood Duck: The male has a dark brown head and upper neck, dark eyes, short dark beak, mostly pale grey body, mottled brown-grey breast, black lower belly and black under-tail, grey wings with black primaries and a white speculum. The female is paler with a white stripe above and below the eye, mottled breast and flanks, and white lower belly and white undertail. The Australian Wood Duck resembles a small goose.
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Mandarin: The male has a red beak, large white eye-stripe, reddish face and whiskers. A purple breast with two vertical white bars, ruddy flanks, and two orange sails at the back. The female is grey/brown with a thin white eye-stripe which circles the eye, grey beak, and dark yellow legs.
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Muscovy Duck: The wild Muscovy Duck has a mainly black plumage which has a greenish or purple sheen, the upperwing and underwing coverts are white, forehead feathers are long forming a crest, distinctive bare black-and red or all-red face with a pink beak which has a large knob at its base, yellow-brown eyes, long claws on the feet, and legs and feet are greyish-black. The female is similar but is much smaller, and lacks the knob at the base of the beak. The domesticated Muscovy Duck also looks similar but has variously coloured plumages.
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Pink-eared Duck: The Pink-eared Duck has a grey-brown crown and rear neck, a whitish face with large dark-brown eye patches, brown eyes with white eye ring, a large spatulate light-grey beak, a brown back, the breast, underparts, and flanks are whitish with dark-brown barring, a white rump and brownish-black tail with white tip, brown wings with whitish tips on secondaries, and legs and feet are light-grey. This duck gets its name from a small pink patch behing the eye. Both sexes are alike.
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Africa Pygmy Goose: The male Africa Pygmy Goose has a white head with metallic black crown and hind-neck, metallic green ear patches, brown-red eyes, bright yellow beak with black nail, the lower neck, breast and flanks are a chestnut-brown colour, a white abdomen, the upperparts and tail are metallic green-black, the wings are green-black with a white streak, the legs and feet are dark grey-black. The female is similar but has a duller plumage with dark eye-stripe, and greyish-yellow beak.
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Cotton Pygmy Goose: The male Cotton Pygmy Goose has a white face, dark crown, red eyes, greenish-black upperparts, white breast with dark narrow breastband, white underparts, white-grey flanks, dark tail, dark green-black wings with white tips, and legs and feet are blackish. The female is similar but has a duller plumage with dark eye-stripe, and brown eyes.
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Green Pygmy Goose: The male has a dark cap extending over the eye, white cheeks, short stubby dark beak with pink tip, brown eyes, dark glossy-green neck and back, pale grey and white scalloped underparts, primary flight feathers are black, secondaries are white, primary coverts are black, and secondary coverts are a dark iridescent green, the tail is black, and it has short dark legs and feet. The female is slightly duller with a whiter face and an eye-stripe.
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Ringed Teal: The male has a whitish face with a black band running from the top of the head down the nape, a deep chestnut-brown back, pale-grey flanks, a black speckled salmon coloured breast, black tail and white rump, a distinctive white patch on the wings, and iridescent green tertials. The female has a brown back, and brown face with white patches, pale barred chest and pale belly. Both sexes have a grey-blue beak with black tip, brown eyes, and the feet and legs are pink. Both male and female remain colourful throughout the year, lacking an eclipse plumage.
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Torrent Duck: The male Torrent Duck has a black crown and hind neck, a white face, dark stripe through the dark-brown eye and running down the sides of the neck, bright-red beak, the breast and underparts are whitish (Columbian species) with black streaks or can be blackish (Chilean species), the back is streaked black and white or buff colour, the wings are grey-brown with a green speculum, a stiff grey-brown tail, and the legs are reddish with darker large webbed feet. The female is smaller and has a reddish face, throat, foreneck, and underparts, a grey crown and hindneck, the upperparts are similar to the male and the speculum is duller.
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White-winged Duck: The White-winged Duck has a white head and neck which is spotted with black, orange-yellow eyes, a dull orange beak with black mottling, a dark-brownish body with green-black gloss on upperparts, brown-black primary flight feathers with white lesser and median coverts and inner edges of tertials and bluish-grey secondary flight feathers. In flight the white in the wings is very noticable and contrasts with the brown body and primary flight feathers. The female is similar but has a more mottled head and neck. The legs and feet are orange-yellow.
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American Wood Duck: The male has a long green/blue metalic crest. A white line extends from the beak, over the eye, and along the crest. There are also white markings along the base of the crest and the front of the throat. A red/brown breast, dark green/blue back and wings, white belly, red beak, and red eyes. The female is much less colourful with a greyish brown plumage, white eye-ring, whitish throat, and grey beak.
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