Q:

What Is the difference between ducks and geese?

A:

Quick Answer

Ducks are identifiable by their broad, flat bill and short legs while geese are larger than ducks, have shorter bills and longer necks. Ducks and geese also have different social structures, which contributes to their identifications.

Continue Reading
What Is the difference between ducks and geese?
Credit: Peter Chadwick LRPS Moment Getty Images

Full Answer

Both ducks and geese belong to the same biological family for waterfowl called Anatidae, but they belong in different subfamilies and genera. Ducks belong to eight subfamilies in the Anatidae family. As a general rule, ducks are smaller and stouter than geese with long, broad bills. These bills evolved for scooping food into the ducks' mouths in water or on land, with a serrated tip to strain out the water. Socially, ducks mate only for a season until the eggs are laid and incubated. After hatching, the males of the species leave the females to raise the ducklings. Also, male ducks often have brightly colored plumage that distinguishes them from their female counterparts.

Geese belong to four subfamilies in the Anatidae family. They tend to be larger than ducks with shorter bills, perfect for a diet of grazing on short grasses. Socially, geese mate for life, which cuts down on courtship rituals. Geese have strong family bonds that follow through migration and many seasons.

Learn more about Birds

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What do doves look like?

    A:

    Doves and pigeons are birds belonging to the clade Columbidae, a group characterized by their plump bodies, short necks, round heads and compact, slender bills. Plumage and size vary greatly by species; the largest member of this clade can weigh 9 pounds while the smallest weighs less than 30 grams.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do emus escape from their predators?

    A:

    Emus escape from large predatory birds such as wedge-tailed eagles by running swiftly and constantly changing directions to protect their vulnerable heads and necks. On the other hand, emus don't run from dingoes, the Australian wolf-dogs, but rather leap into the air and kick at the dingoes with the sharp claws on their toes.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Do hummingbirds ride on Canadian geese when the geese migrate?

    A:

    Although both hummingbirds and Canadian geese migrate south for the winter, hummingbirds do not ride on the geese when traveling. The two species migrate at different times and to different locations, so traveling together is impossible.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Do geese eat fish?

    A:

    Canadian geese and domesticated geese are both primarily herbivores. According to The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, their diets consist of grass, aquatic plants, grains and leaves. Although Canadian geese occasionally eat small fish, domesticated geese are not reported to do so.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore