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30 Birds that Look Like Ducks (A to Z List with Pictures)

30 Birds that Look Like Ducks

Examples of birds that look like ducks include alaotra grebe, American coot, Australasian grebe, black-necked grebe, and brant.

Birds that look like ducks but aren’t include many types of geese, some types of swans, and some types of grebe. In general, these birds share some similarities with ducks, such as webbed feet and a bill that is good for filter-feeding, but they differ in other ways.

For example, geese are generally larger than ducks, with longer necks and legs. Swans are also larger than ducks, but they have a more slender build and often have white plumage.

Grebe, on the other hand, tends to be smaller than ducks and have a more distinctive posture, standing upright with their long necks and legs extended.

Examples of Birds that Look Like Ducks

1. Alaotra Grebe

Alaotra Grebe
Scientific NameTachybaptus rufolavatus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeLake Alaotra and its surrounding lakes in Madagascar

The Alaotra Grebe is a small bird that is found in Madagascar. It is the only member of the genus Tachybaptus and is closely related to other grebes, such as the little grebe.

The Alaotra Grebe has a black head and neck with a white stripe running down the middle. Its back and wings are brown, and its belly is white. It has red eyes and a long, pointed bill.

2. American Coot

American Coot
Scientific NameFulica americana
Type of AnimalBird
RangeDuring the summer, these birds are found centered around the freshwater lakes and ponds of the northern United States and southern Canada

The American coot (Fulica americana) is a member of the rail family, which also includes cranes, herons, and ibises. It is a chicken-sized bird with a black body, white beak, and red eyes. The American coot can be found in marshes and ponds across North America.

Related Article: 30 Birds that Eat Other Birds

3. Australasian Grebe

Australasian Grebe
Scientific NameTachybaptus novaehollandiae
Type of AnimalBird
Rangethroughout Australia and throughout the Pacific region

One of the smaller birds on this list, the Australasian Grebe is nevertheless a fairly common sight in its native range. As its name suggests, the Australasian Grebe is found in Australia, New Zealand, and Tasmania.

This bird has a black head with a white collar, and its body is mostly grey-brown. It has a long, thin neck and legs, which give it a somewhat stilted appearance.

Related Article: 25 Birds that Honk

4. Black-Necked Grebe

Black-Necked Grebe
Scientific NamePodiceps nigricollis
Type of AnimalBird
Rangeparts of Africa, Eurasia, and the Americas

The Black-necked Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) is a small waterbird that looks similar to a duck, but is actually more closely related to penguins! This bird has a black head and neck, with a white stripe running down the side of its face.

Its body is mostly white, with some grey on its back and wings. Black-necked Grebes can be found in freshwater lakes and marshes in Europe, Asia, and North America.

5. Brant

Brants
Scientific NameBranta bernicla
Type of AnimalBird
Rangecoastal Alaska and Arctic Canada

Brant is a type of goose that looks similar to ducks. They have a short, stubby bill and webbed feet. Their plumage is dark brown with white patches on the belly and neck.

6. Brown Pelican

Brown Pelican
Scientific NamePelecanus occidentalis
Type of AnimalBird
Rangesouthern and western sea coasts

The brown pelican is a large bird with a long neck, bill, and legs. It has a dark brown plumage with a white belly. It is found in coastal areas of North and South America.

Related Article: 19 Birds that Look Like Pelicans

7. Clark’s Grebe

Clark's Grebe
Scientific NameAechmophorus clarkii
Type of AnimalBird
Rangefrom California north and east to south-central Canada

This North American bird is closely related to the little grebe but is significantly larger. It has a long, slender neck and bill, and webbed feet. Its plumage is mostly gray with a white belly, and its eyes are orange. Clark’s grebes breed in freshwater marshes and lakes, and their diet consists of fish, insects, and crustaceans.

8. Common Loon

Common Loon
Scientific NameGavia immer
Type of AnimalBird
RangeGreenland, Iceland, and northern North America

The common loon is a large bird that can reach up to about five feet in length. It has a black head and back, with white plumage on its belly and underwings. Its bill is long and thin, and its legs are short and webbed.

The common loon is found in North America, where it breeds on lakes and ponds in the summer. In the winter, it migrates south to coastal waters.

9. Common Merganser

Common Merganser
Scientific NameMergus merganser
Type of AnimalBird
Rangewooded areas along streams and rivers or near small, inland lakes

The common merganser is a type of goose that can often be mistaken for a duck. They are similar in size and shape to ducks, but they have a long, thin bill that is serrated at the edges.

They also have a bright red plumage on their heads, which is a distinguishing feature from ducks.

10. Common Moorhen

Common Moorhen
Scientific NameGallinula
Type of AnimalBird
Rangearound well-vegetated marshes, ponds, canals, and other wetlands

The Common Moorhen is a chicken-sized bird with dark plumage and a red frontal shield on its head. It is found in wetlands across Europe, Asia, and Africa. In appearance, it most closely resembles the Black Duck of North America.

11. Double-Crested Cormorant

Double-Crested Cormorant
Scientific NamePhalacrocorax auritus
Type of AnimalBird
Rangefrom rocky northern coasts to mangrove swamps to large reservoirs to small inland ponds

The double-crested cormorant is a large water bird with a long neck, webbed feet, and a hooked bill. It is black in color with a white patch on its chest. Double-crested cormorants are found in North America and Europe.

12. Great Crested Grebe

Great Crested Grebe
Scientific NamePodiceps cristatus
Type of AnimalBird
Rangeacross Europe and Asia, parts of southern and eastern Africa, Australia, and New Zealand

The great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) is a freshwater diving bird found in Europe, Asia, and Africa. It has a long neck, webbed feet, and a bill that is good for filter-feeding. Great crested grebes are generally smaller than ducks, but they share some similarities with them in terms of their plumage and build.

13. Great Grebe

Great Crested Grebe
Scientific NamePodiceps cristatus
Type of AnimalBird
Rangeacross Europe and Asia, parts of southern and eastern Africa

The great grebe is a waterbird with a long neck and webbed feet. It is similar in appearance to a duck, but it is smaller and has a more slender build. The great grebe is found in Europe, Asia, and Africa.

14. Hoary-Headed Grebe

Hoary-Headed Grebe
Scientific NamePoliocephalus poliocephalus
Type of AnimalBird
Rangesouthern parts of Australia

The Hoary-Headed Grebe (Poliocephalus poliosus) is a waterbird that looks quite similar to a duck, although it is actually more closely related to the pheasant. It has a reddish-brown plumage with a white head and neck. This bird is found in Australia, New Zealand, and parts of South America.

15. Hooded Grebe

Hooded Grebe
Scientific NamePodiceps gallardoi
Type of AnimalBird
Rangepredominantly in the Patagonian province of Santa Cruz, Argentina

The hooded grebe (Podiceps gallardoi) is a small waterbird that is found in South America. It has a black head and neck, with a white stripe that extends from the eye to the back of the head. The plumage of the body is grey-brown, with a white belly. The bill is yellow, and the legs and feet are black.

This bird is often found in freshwater lakes and marshes. It feeds on small fish, crustaceans, and insects.

16. Horned Grebe

Horned Grebe
Scientific NamePodiceps auritus
Type of AnimalBird
Rangemostly on northern marshes in summer, and coastal bays in winter. Also widespread in Eurasia

Horned Grebes are small water birds with distinctive red-and-black plumage. They have long, thin necks, and their legs are located far back on their bodies, which gives them a hunched-over appearance. Horned Grebes feed on fish, crustaceans, and aquatic insects.

17. Junín Grebe

Junín Grebe
Scientific NamePodiceps taczanowskii
Type of AnimalBird
RangeLake Junin

The Junín Grebe (Podiceps taczanowskii) is a small, chicken-sized bird that inhabits high-altitude lakes in the Peruvian Andes. It has a long, thin neck and legs, and its body is covered in greenish-brown feathers.

Its bill is black with a white stripe running down the middle, and its eyes are red. The Junín Grebe is the only member of its family, Podicipedidae, that is found in South America.

18. Least Grebe

Least Grebe
Scientific NameTachybaptus dominicus
Type of AnimalBird
Rangethe New World from the southwestern United States and Mexico to Argentina, and also on Trinidad and Tobago, the Bahamas, and the Greater Antilles

The Least Grebe is the smallest member of the grebe family. It is about the same size as a duckling and has a similar bill shape. However, its posture is more like that of a heron, with its neck and legs extended.

19. Little Grebe

Little Grebe
Scientific NameTachybaptus ruficollis
Type of AnimalBird
Rangeacross Europe, much of Asia down to New Guinea, and most of Africa

The little grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) is a member of the grebe family of water birds. It is the smallest member of that family, but still has the distinctive posture of other grebes, standing upright with a long neck and legs. The little grebe is found in Europe, Asia, and Africa, and its plumage is brownish-grey with a white throat.

20. Madagascar Grebe

Madagascar Grebe
Scientific NameTachybaptus pelzelnii
Type of AnimalBird
Rangecentral Madagascar

The Madagascar grebe (Tachybaptus pelzelnii) is a small waterbird that occurs in marshes and lakes on the island of Madagascar. It is similar in appearance to some ducks, but it is actually more closely related to flamingos.

The Madagascar grebe has a reddish-brown plumage with a white belly. It has a long, thin neck and a pointed bill. Its legs are relatively short and it has webbed feet.

21. New Zealand Grebe

New Zealand Grebe
Scientific NamePoliocephalus rufopectus
Type of AnimalBird
Rangethe North Island

The New Zealand grebe (Poliocephalus rufopectus) is a small waterbird that is endemic to New Zealand. It is similar in appearance to ducks, but it has a more slender build and often has white plumage.

22. Pacific Loon

Pacific Loon
Scientific NameGavia pacifica
Type of AnimalBird
Rangenorthern Canada as far east as Hudson Bay and Baffin Island

The Pacific loon (Gavia pacifica) is a member of the genus Gavia, the only genus of fully aquatic birds in the family Gaviidae. The Pacific loon is a medium-sized loon, with a length of 58–70 cm (23–28 in) and a wingspan of 121–153 cm (48–60 in).

The plumage of the Pacific loon is largely gray, with some white on the belly and black on the head. The bill is black, with a small yellow spot near the tip, and the eyes are red. The legs and feet are black.

23. Pied-Billed Grebe

Pied-Billed Grebe
Scientific NamePodilymbus podiceps
Type of AnimalBird
Rangemost of the U.S. and southern Canada

The Pied-billed Grebe is a small waterbird with a round body and short neck. The back and wings are dark brown, while the belly is white. The most distinctive feature of this bird is its black-and-white striped bill.

Pied-billed Grebes are found in North and South America, where they breed in freshwater lakes and ponds.

24. Red-Necked Grebe

Red-Necked Grebe
Scientific NamePodiceps grisegena
Type of AnimalBird
RangeBermuda and the Hawaiian Islands

A small waterbird with a round body and long neck, the red-necked grebe is often mistaken for a duck. It has a reddish-brown neck and head, with a white face and black cap. Its back is grey or brown, and its belly is white. It has webbed feet and a bill that is slightly upturned.

Red-necked grebes are found in North America, Europe, and Asia. They breed in freshwater lakes and ponds, and winter in coastal waters.

25. Silvery Grebe

Silvery Grebe
Scientific NamePodiceps occipitalis
Type of AnimalBird
Rangethe western and southern parts of South America at altitudes of up to 4,000 meters (13,000 ft).

These small waterbirds are found in both North and South America. They get their name from the silver-gray plumage on their heads and necks.

26. Tundra Swan

Tundra Swan
Scientific NameCygnus columbianus
Type of AnimalBird
Rangethe remote arctic of North America

The tundra swan is a large bird, similar in size to the trumpeter swan. It has a long neck and legs, and webbed feet. The plumage is white, with a black bill and legs.

Tundra swans breed in the Arctic tundras of North America and Europe. They winter in coastal marshes and freshwater lakes.

27. Western Grebe

Western Grebe
Scientific NameAechmophorus occidentalis
Type of AnimalBird
RangeCanada through California, and sometimes in Mexico

The Western Grebe is a large water bird with a long neck and legs. It has a black cap that extends down to its eyes, and its back is mostly white. Its belly is gray, and it has a long, thin bill.

This bird is found in the western United States and Canada. It eats fish, crustaceans, and insects.

28. White Pelican

American White Pelican
Scientific NamePelecanus erythrorhynchos
Type of AnimalBird
Rangeeastern Washington

The white pelican is a large bird with a long neck and a bill. They are similar to ducks in size and shape, but they have black legs and feet.

29. White-Tufted Grebe

White-Tufted Grebe
Scientific NameRollandia rolland
Type of AnimalBird
Range the southern part of South America

The White-tufted Grebe (Rollandia rolland) is a small waterbird that can be found in the Americas. It gets its name from the tufts of white feathers on its head, which is more prominent in males.

30. Yellow-Billed Loon

Yellow-Billed Loon
Scientific NameGavia adamsii
Type of AnimalBird
Rangealong the coasts of the Arctic Ocean as far north as 78° N

The yellow-billed loon, also known as the common loon, is a large bird that can reach up to five feet in length. It has a black body with white spots on its wings and a yellow bill. The yellow-billed loon is a North American bird that can be found in Canada and Alaska.

Conclusion

There are many different types of birds that look like ducks. Some, like the Clark’s Grebe, are closely related to ducks, while others, like the Black-necked Grebe, are more distantly related. Still others, like the American Coot, are not related to ducks at all! Whatever their relationship to ducks, these birds all have one thing in common: they share some of the same physical features, such as a long neck, webbed feet, and a bill.

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