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Q:What kinda of Duck is it

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by noway, Oct 2, 2003.

  1. noway

    noway

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    I find myself looking more and more at ducks trying to figure out the pattern if any, that helps in long distance identification.

    Other than the size ( i.e greenwing teal vrs a Mallard ) and the obvious paterrns it's kinda hard to really get a good idea of what kinda of duck is approaching or crossing when they are 75yrds or farther on a backlit sky. Seeing 3 or 4 ducks flying across the sky at the early AM they all look the same, at least to me. If they are sitting on the ground or swimming in water, then it is much easier.

    > Do most ducks fly in certain flock patterns in certain quanities? Kinda like most Canadian Geese?
    (i.e I always spot at the Canadians with either 11 or 12 in a V formation )

    > Is their a major differences in a flock of "insert duck type here" vrs another duck?

    In my area we have numerous migratory and native or non-migratory ducks but when they are flying it's hard to figure out who's who. And until they are right up on you it's hard to get a good clear picture of their underside or rump coloring.

    Just to give you an example, we have just for the common puddle ducks located within 100miles of home ;

    Florida Mallard (aka molted duck) which is protected
    Greenwing teal
    Bluewing teal
    Woods
    Black Ducks

    and I'm pretty sure others that I have no clue of. Too me when they are flying they all look the same, except the teals are much faster and smaller than the others.

    any suggestions?
     
  2. Michigun

    Michigun Miss Michigan?

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    I don’t think it’ll work chief… best thing to do is to have a few bricks around & some rope… that way if you shoot too many of a cretin species that’s allowed, you can tie the brick to them & toss’em overboard! :)
     

  3. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    There's no one rule or trick for identifying birds in flight. You just have to invest the time, sit on the pond and watch.

    Weather, time of year, time of day, location, how high it's flying, how fast it's flying, etc, etc, etc, all come into play.

    My old man has been hunting the same ponds since he was a kid. He could tell you what ducks are there just by knowing what day it is and which way the wind is blowing. He's not psychic, he's just been watching the same water almost every day, for 4 months a year, for 40+ years. For 2 years, when I was in high school, we hunted those ponds just about every morning and night of the season. I started to be able to tell what ducks were coming in just from the noise and what time it was. Ducks have routines just like deer and people.

    When you get some ducks to land in your set, don't shoot them right away. If they're 20 yards out, you're going to get them, so you might as well kick back and watch. Just soak in as much as you can about what they're doing. A journal really helps keep it all straight so you can remember what happened after the long off-season.
     
  4. Blah!

    Blah! Guest

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    i can tell you this much the teal's and woody's fly fast and eratic patterns

    Blackducks usually fly in pairs or sometimes 4's same with the mallard hope this helps
     
  5. rfb45colt

    rfb45colt safe-cracker

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    There's no way to tell similar species apart, other than visual confirmation. For this, I use a pair of compact 16X binoculars. And it's still impossible to distinguish between mallard hens and black ducks. If in doubt, don't shoot.

    A few observations I've made in 30+ yrs of duck hunting.

    Woodies (when flying low) will fly in small groups of 2 or 3, in single file rather than abreast or in a "V".

    Lesser Scaup (commonly known as bluebills) fly mostly in large flocks, they fly extremely fast with very rapid wing beats, and you can actually hear them coming from a good distance. Their wings making a whooshing sound, and a flock of 20 or more will sound like a small jet plane approaching. I usually hear a flock of bluebills coming before I see them. I've heard large flocks numbering over 100 birds, from several hundred yards away.

    Mergansers usally fly very fast, and very low... just a few feet above the water. They are normally side by side, like a cavalry charge. They rarely change direction, unless spooked... then they go into an almost vertical climb.
     
  6. noway

    noway

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    Good information.That's what I need.
     
  7. rfb45colt

    rfb45colt safe-cracker

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    noway, if you do not belong to Ducks Unlimited, I strongly suggest you join. Their magazine is excellant, and it has lots of articles and pictures on this subject. It alone, is worth the $25 per year membership, IMHO.
     
  8. noway

    noway

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    Already done. I sent my application in about 2weeks ago. Nothing yet but I have picked up a few "How to identify Ducks Guide".

    Their tips are great but hard to understand and compare when they(ducks) are flying. To me most of them look the same.