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Anatidae

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Anatidae

The mallard is one of the most familiar birds in the Anatidae family.

Tristan Ferne
Definition:

(noun) The scientific family of birds that includes ducks, geese and swans. Anatidae birds are found on all the world's continents except Antarctica, and amount to more than 140 different species. Some of the Anatidae family of birds have been domesticated for use as meat or for their eggs and feathers, and some are also used as pets. Many Anatidae birds are also regularly hunted.

While there is much variation among birds in this family, they all share a variety of common characteristics, including:

  • Well adapted for swimming, floating and diving (exact expertise varies by individual species)
  • Spatulate bill includes a nail on the tip that may or may not be a different color
  • Relatively round body shape with short legs and longer necks than other types of birds

Familiar examples of birds in the Anatidae family include the mallard, Canada goose and all the swan species.

Photo – Mallard © Tristan Ferne

Pronunciation:

ah-NAH-tih-day

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