Dabble with ducks!
Updated: Feb 1
Did you know that diving ducks like these Buffleheads will compress their feathers tightly against their body right before they dive? Not only does this make them thinner and more streamlined, it also pushes out any air in the feathers to make them less buoyant
What exactly are diving ducks and how are they different from other kinds of duck? It depends on how they find food! Diving ducks do just that when they are foraging - they dive below the surface to find bits of vegetation, aquatic insects or even small fish and crustaceans. Dabbling ducks are the ones that flip upside down with their bums in the air to get at floating plants and insects that are right near the surface.
Diving ducks have legs that are situated slightly further back on their bodies than dabbling ducks. This allows them to kick and paddle underwater more efficiently but makes them a bit more clumsy on land.
The wings of diving ducks are also slightly smaller than those of dabbling ducks to allow for better streamlined shape. This means they have less "lift" when taking off in flight than dabbling ducks and thus require larger areas of open water, which is why diving ducks are less often seen in small ponds and wetlands.