Your Florida Backyard NSiS Home Page Your Florida Backyard Dabbling Ducks
Dabbling Ducks float on shallow water and then pivot headfirst with tails skyward to feed underwater. They inhabit fresh and brackish ponds, marshes, and streams.
Gadwalls are more common in central and north Florida and during fall and winter. They are more likely to dive while foraging and feed farther from water than most dabblers.
Muscovy Ducks are native to Central and South America. The population in Florida is thought to be the result of released and escaped domestic ducks that have hybridized with native ducks. They are the most common waterfowl found in suburban areas. They usually nest on the ground but may nest on balconies and ledges. In contrast, wild Muscovies are wary of humans and nest in tree cavities.
Muscovy Ducks are loved and hated by the public. While always eager for a hand-out, they often become persistent. They can transmit parasites and diseases, including duck plague, fowl cholera, paratyphoid, avian tuberculosis, and chlamydiosis, to native ducks and, in large numbers, foul small ponds.
Wood Ducks prefer to nest in tree cavities but will use nest boxes. The others are all ground nesters.

name area season diet/native food plants
GadwallNCSSpSuFWshoots*, nuts, grain, aquatic invertebrates
aquatic plants, bald cypress, buttonbush, grasses
NCSSpSuFW-Bseeds*, shoots, grain, acorns, insects, aquatic invertebrates
aquatic plants, bald cypress, buttonbush, grasses, oak
Mottled DuckNCSSpSuFW-Baquatic invertebrates*, shoots, insects, seeds, berries
aquatic plants, bayberry, buttonbush, grasses
NCSSpSuFWshoots*, fruit, grain
aquatic plants, grasses
Wood DuckNCSSpSuFW-Baquatic invertebrates*, shoots, insects, seeds, berries
aquatic plants, grasses, hickory, hornbeam, oak, tupelo
Blue-winged TealNCSSpSuFWseeds*, aquatic invertebrates, shoots
aquatic plants, buttonbush, grasses
Green-winged TealNCSSpFW
American WigeonNCSSpSuFWshoots*, aquatic invertebrates, insects, seeds
aquatic plants, grasses
N=north  C=central  S=south
Sp=spring  Su=summer  F=fall  W=winter
B=breeds in Florida during season(s) underlined  M=Migrant

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