Swans, Ducks and Geese (UK)

Birds of a feather flock together. Sing like a canary. Who is that bird (girl)? I think you get the point. I just love birds. I used to have some budgies and hope to get some lovebirds very soon. Enough about me, lets talk birds.

Wildfowls are medium to large birds with long or very long necks. They have mostly short, broad bills and short legs and the front three toes are joined by webs. Within wildfowls, there are ‘sawbills’ which have a saw-tooth edges to more slender, hooked bills which help them to grab fish. Swans are the largest and longest-necked of them all. I hear swans mate for life. I also heard that all swans in the UK are property of the Queen. How great is that?

Next we have, geese. Geese are divided into 2 main groups. Grey and black. Canadian geese are the most widespread-native to Canada but introduced to the UK from North America. Canadian geese are horrible and vicious. I have been attacked by those monsters many, many times. If there is one thing you take away from this blog post it should be: stay away from Canadian geese. See this picture? Here is a Canadian goose/geese in attack mode. I was able to outrun it, thankfully.

Next, ducks. Ducks are divided into ‘surface feeders’ and they rarely dive and ‘diving ducks’ they dive for food. Ducks are ok. They are pretty placid. You can feed ducks the following:

  • corn
  • lettuce
  • peas
  • oats
  • seeds
  • rice

I only ever feed ducks bread. But I guess, like the rest of us, they ARE watching their carb intake-so, if you can, feed them from the foods listed above.

Next up, Barnacle goose. They are medium size and quite sociable. Ahh, just like me! They are pretty noisy and you can often hear their noisy chorus sounds of barking and yelping.

Next we have the Goosander. A member of the sawbill family because of its long, serrated bills-used for catching fish. It is a largely freshwater bird and first bred in the UK in 1871. It built up numbers in Scotland and has now spread into northern England and Wales. Its love of salmon and trout has brought this little guy into conflict with fisherman. It is quite a gregarious bird.

Here is a goosander male. And a very hungry one at that.

Next up, the mighty mallard. It is a large and heavy looking duck with a  long body and a long and broad bill. The male has a green head, yellow bill and is mainly purple-brown on the breast and grey on the body. The female is mostly brown with an orange bill. It breeds in all parts of the UK in summer and winter. Mallards in the UK may be resident breeders or migrants.

So, there you have it. Of course, we have loads more birds here in the UK. if you are interested you should check out the RSPB website-the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. It is a fantastic and informative website full of tips, videos et al.   http://www.rspb.org.uk/  I should probably tweet this blog post. See what I did there?





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