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Diving Ducks

Diving ducks frequent the larger, deeper lakes and rivers, and coastal

bays and inlets.

The colored wing patches of these birds lack the brilliance of the

speculums of puddle ducks. Since many of them have short tails, their

huge, paddle feet may be used as rudders in flight, and are often

visible on flying birds. When launching into flight, most of this group

patter along the water before becoming airborne.

They feed by diving, often to considerable depths. To escape danger,

they can travel great distances underwater, emerging only enough to show

their head before submerging again.

Their diets of fish, shellfish, mollusks, and aquatic plants make them

second choice, as a group, for sportsmen. Canvasbacks and redheads

fattened on eel grass or wild celery are notable exceptions.

Since their wings are smaller in proportion to the size and weight of

their bodies, they have a more rapid wingbeat than puddle ducks.