Florida is well-known for its beautiful beaches, tropical wetlands, and high temperatures.
And, of course, these habitats are the ideal home for some of the most incredible wildlife you could ever hope to find, including some amazing Ducks.
Today, we’re going to take a look at 15 types of Ducks you can find in Florida. Some are found all over the State, while others are a little fussier about the area they live in.
Either way, one thing is for sure – you’re guaranteed to learn something new by the time you’ve finished reading.
Looking for a quick-reference list of Ducks you can find in Florida? Here’s all 15 species:
- Blue-Winged Teal
- White-Winged Scoter
- Ring-Necked Duck
- Canvasback Duck
- Surf Scoter
- Ruddy Duck
- American Black Duck
- Wood Duck
- Long-Tailed Duck
- Hooded Merganser
- Green-Winged Teal
- Redhead Duck
- Mottled Duck
Now, let’s take a closer look at each of these Ducks’ markings, habitats, feeding habits, and more!
With a 29-inch wingspan, the Blue-Winged Teal is one of the smaller Ducks on our list and, overall, one of the smallest species of Duck on the planet.
It can be identified by its namesake blue feathers across each wing, and this is present in both sexes.
Males can be identified by their white neck and underparts along with their white underparts and gray head.
The female Blue-Winged Teal has brown feathers across her entire body.
The best place to spot a Blue-Winged Teal in Florida is in marshes, ponds, and lakes.
They have also been spotted in urban areas with patches of calmer water surrounded by dense vegetation.
In terms of diet, the Blue-Winged Teal is omnivorous and feeds on aquatic plants and seeds, as well as aquatic invertebrates and even some small mammals.
It has a fairly long lifespan too, living an average of 17 years.
One of North America’s most common Ducks, the White-Winged Scoter can be found in Florida all year round.
Males can be identified by the black plumage that covers their entire body, while females have brown feathers all over.
Both sexes have a white speculum and their namesake white markings on the wings, and have an average wingspan of 36-inches.
You’re most likely to spot a White-Winged Scoter in Florida’s marshes and wetlands, although they have also been known to set up home in ponds in urban areas.
Interestingly, they aren’t species-specific when it comes to breeding, and have been known to crossbreed with other Ducks including Pintails and Redheads.
Like most other species of Duck, the White-Winged Scoter is omnivorous and feeds on plant life, crustaceans, mollusks, and small fish.
They’re long-lived too, with the average lifespan of a White-Winged Scoter in the wild being 12 years, and a captive White-Winged Scoter living as long as 20 years.
Another Duck with a wide range, the Ring-Necked Duck can be found throughout Florida as well as most of North and South America.
It takes its name from its characteristic white plumage that circles the entire of its neck.
Males sport a jet black head and back, along with white underparts, and females are very similar in color although slightly duller.
Both sexes have a blue wing speculum and an average wingspan of 28-inches.
The Ring-Necked Duck’s diet mainly consists of aquatic vegetation and seeds, although they will also feed on small fish and mammals.
Those that live in the wild have a much shorter lifespan of just 10 years, compared to the 20 year lifespan of a captive Ring-Necked Duck.
The best place to find a Ring-Necked Duck in Florida is in fens and bogs surrounded by dense vegetation.
They have also been spotted living on lakes, but rarely venture into urban areas.
Topping the scales at 4lbs and boasting an average wingspan of 35-inches, the Canvasback Duck is one of the largest Ducks on our list.
The male Canvasback Duck can be identified by its namesake white plumage that covers the entire of its back, along with its white head, white underparts, black breast and red head.
Females are much duller in appearance and are covered with brown feathers marked with black barring.
Canvasback Ducks are a monogamous species throughout the breeding season, but tend to switch partners every year.
They have also been known to interbreed with other species including Pintails and Redheads.
The best place to spot a Canvasback Duck in Florida is in lakes, bays, deepwater marshes, and ponds.
In each of these habitats, they feed on a diet of aquatic vegetation, seeds, roots, insect larvae and snails.
While the Canvasback Duck changes its breeding partner every year, the Bufflehead Duck is a lifelong monogamous Duck and will stay with the same partner for its average 18 year lifespan.
The Bufflehead takes its name from the male’s large, almost bulbous head that looks almost too large compared to the rest of its body.
Both males and females are very similar in appearance and are covered with black and white plumage, although the male is tinged with iridescent green while the female is tinged with brown.
Found throughout North America, the Bufflehead is a little more particular than some other species of Duck and will only set up home in ponds or wooded lakes.
Here, it feeds on aquatic plants, mollusks, small fish, and crustaceans. The average lifespan of a Bufflehead is around 18 years.
The Mallard is one of the most instantly recognizable species of Duck in the world.
Males and females are very different in appearance, with the male Mallard sporting an iridescent green head, dark brown breast, light gray underparts, and bright orange feet.
Female Mallards are duller in appearance but still beautiful, marked with dark and light brown plumage. Both sexes have a blue wing speculum and an average wingspan of 42-inches.
The Mallard is also one of the most widely-ranging Duck species, and can be found on every continent except for Antarctica.
In each of these continents, its habitat remains the same – marshes, ponds, lakes, and urban areas with sources of water.
They can also be found living in both freshwater and saltwater environments.
They have an omnivorous diet, and feed on aquatic plants as well as a variety of insects including dragonflies, beetles, and worms.
One of the most striking Ducks you’ll find in Florida and throughout North America, the male Surf Scoter can be identified by its the black plumage that covers its entire back, giving it the appearance of a wave across the dark water surface.
Males also have a white patch on the neck and head along with orange and red patches on the bill.
Females, on the other hand, are much duller in appearance and are covered with brown feathers.
Unlike many of Florida’s Duck species, the Surf Scooter is quite particular about where it calls home.
You’ll only ever find it living in freshwater lakes, and here it enjoys an omnivorous diet of aquatic plants, small fish, mollusks, and crustaceans.
You’ll know immediately if you’ve spotted a Ruddy Duck as it bears a bright blue beak that stands out magnificently against its black and white head.
The rest of its body is covered with rust-orange plumage, and this is where it takes its name from.
Both males and females are very similar in appearance (although females are slightly browner) and have an average wingspan of 19-inches.
The best place to spot a Ruddy Duck in Florida is in marshes, ponds, and lakes.
They’re present in the State all year round as well, although they are most active during the spring and summer as they look for nesting materials and search for food to give their Ducklings.
The Ruddy Duck’s diet is pretty varied and they feed on both plant and animal matter.
This includes aquatic vegetation, seeds, insects, small fish, and zooplankton.
American Black Duck
Another large Duck you can find in Florida all year round, the American Black Duck has an average wingspan of 37-inches and tops the scales at 4lbs.
It is named after the male’s black plumage, and he also sports a green head.
Female American Black Ducks are covered with brown plumage and a blue wing speculum flanked with white.
American Black Ducks can be found living in ponds, rivers, and lakes all over Florida. Here, they enjoy a varied diet of aquatic vegetation, leaves, roots, seeds, berries, crustaceans, and snails.
The average lifespan of an American Black Duck is 10 years, however, those that live in captivity may live up to 20 years.
One of the more colorful Ducks on our list, the Wood Duck can be identified by its distinctive green head crest that is flanked with white.
It also sports a black and white face, yellow and red bill, rust-red breast dotted with white, blue upper parts, and light underparts.
There isn’t much difference in appearance between males and females, however, the female is a little duller in color.
Both sexes are around the same size and have an average wingspan of 30-inches.
The Wood Duck’s diet primarily consists of plant matter such as berries, seeds, and aquatic vegetation.
They do also feed on animals too though, including small fish, amphibians, and some small mammals.
You’re most likely to find a Wood Duck in Florida’s marshes, although they have quite a wide range of habitats and can also be spotted in lakes and ponds.
One of Florida’s most common sights, the Long-Tailed Duck can be found across North America’s coastlines.
As is the case with many species of Duck, the Long-Tailed Duck is named after the male’s long, black tail feather.
This is really the only difference between sexes, however, and both males and females can be identified by their brown throat and wings, and white head and upperparts.
The Long-Tailed Duck has quite a varied habitat and can be found in marshes, ponds, and lakes.
Here, it feeds on a diet of aquatic plant material as well as mollusks, small crustaceans, and small fish.
It’s quite easy to see where the Hooded Merganser gets its name from!
The black feathers and white patch that cover its head give it the appearance of wearing a large hood, as well as a comically flat-looking head.
Female Hooded Mergansers have dark brown feathers rather than black, but that’s the only real difference between the two sexes.
Both also have a blue wing speculum and an average wingspan of 26-inches.
The best place to find a Hooded Merganser in Florida is in wooded lakes and rivers, although they have also been spotted in urban areas with ponds.
Like most Ducks, the Hooded Merganser has an omnivorous diet and feeds on aquatic vegetation, seeds, berries, crabs, fish, insects, crayfish, and frogs.
The Green-Winged Teal is one of Florida’s smaller species of Duck and has an average wingspan of just 23-inches.
They are, however, quite common and can be spotted all over the State as well as other parts of North and South America.
Taking its name from the bright green feathers that it sports on either wing, the Green-Winged Teal can also be identified by their silver chest, white neck, white underparts, and green and black head.
Males and females are similar in appearance, although the female has a slightly browner tinge to her feathers.
Unlike many Ducks, the Green-Winged Teal is almost exclusively herbivorous. It enjoys a diet made up of wheat, pondweed, stems, nutgrasses, seeds, and spike rushes.
It finds all of these food sources in its preferred habitat of marshes, ponds, and lakes.
Another Duck with a namesake marking, the main identifying feature of the Redhead Duck is the rust-red feathers that cover its entire head. This is, however, only present in males.
Females have a brown head and neck, but both sexes sport a black neck and underparts.
Both are around the same size as well, with a 33-inch average wingspan.
Found throughout Florida and most of North America, the best place to spot a Redhead Duck is in lakes, reservoirs, and river delta.
They have quite a wide-ranging habitat actually, and as long as it’s freshwater they’re quite happy.
The Redhead Duck is also omnivorous and enjoys a diet made up of acorns, seeds, aquatic vegetation, insect larvae, and mollusks.
The final entry on our list of Ducks you can find in Florida is the Mottled Duck.
This is also the only Duck on this list that is exclusive to North America, and it can be found living in lakes, marshes, and ponds.
There isn’t much of a difference in appearance between males and females, and they can be identified by their namesake brown and black mottled plumage.
The only real difference is that the females have a silver head and a brighter beak. Both sexes are around the same size with an average wingspan of 37-inches.
Another omnivorous Duck, the Mottled Duck feeds on seeds, acorns, small fish, aquatic insects, and some small mammals.
As you can see, Florida is home to some of the most beautiful species of Duck you could ever wish to find.
So, next time you’re out and about in the Sunshine State, be sure to stop by a lake, river, or pond. You might just spot a Duck that you’ve never seen before!