22 Different Types of Water Birds

Different Types of Water Birds
Photo by wal_172619

There are many different types of water birds around the globe. It is common knowledge that birds thrive in various environments, including the air, the land, and even the water.

Some unfortunate bird species cannot fly, some are confined to a life on land, and others spend most of their time in the air.

However, the topic of discussion for this piece will be avian species that are capable of submerging themselves in water.

These birds are called waterbirds or aquatic birds, and they can make their homes not just in freshwater ecosystems such as lakes, rivers, and streams but also in saltwater settings like the ocean or even both!

They have developed specialized adaptations that enable them to move through the water without making a splash.

Different types of water birds are abundant all over the world and make a significant contribution to the environment in which we currently find ourselves.

There is a huge variety of unusual and exotic water birds, including the majestic American Dipper, Kingfisher, and coastal birds.

The following is a list of the most amazing water birds you can find worldwide.

1. Eurasian SpoonBill

Eurasian SpoonBill
by Frank.Vassen is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Eurasian spoonbill is a species of bird that is easily identifiable due to its huge white body, yellowish breast patch, dark black wingtips (which are visible when the bird is in flight), and long spoon-shaped bills.

In addition, it is the most prevalent species in Europe, and you can recognize it immediately, thanks to its spatulate bill.

The Eurasian spoonbill can be found worldwide, from Europe to Northwest Africa, the Red Sea, India, and China. They also reside in Southeast Asia.

Additionally, this migratory bird spends its winters throughout Europe and Asia, including some regions of Karnataka in India.

In addition, you can frequently find them in the vicinity of water bodies such as lakes, ponds, rivers, deltas, canals, and marshes with dense overgrowth of shrubs.

2. Flamingoes

by szeke is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Another mention on our list of different types of water birds is flamingos. Flamingos are extensively spread over the Americas, including the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, and Europe.

They are also known for having one of the most unique wading long-neck animal species.

Flamingos are often only found in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. There are essentially six distinct species of flamingos found across the world.

The Greater Flamingo is a member of the flamingo family, the most common and the largest species.

Additionally, these different types of water birds are one of the most well-known birds all over the world.

In general, flamingos are very graceful animals due to the bright pink feathers covering their bodies; legs curved like stilts and S-shaped necks.

In addition, flamingoes consume crustaceans and snails for food, and they construct their nests close to the water’s edge.

Flamingo species are not in danger of extinction; nevertheless, the Andean flamingo is vulnerable. It is an example of animals whose names begin with the letter f.

3. Double-crested Cormorants

Double-crested Cormorants
by Colin Durfee is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Nannopterum auritum, more commonly known as the Double-crested Cormorant, is classified as a member of the bird family known as the Anatidae.

Popularly known as the “black bird with a yellow beak,” this bird species can be found across North America, from the Aleutian Islands in Alaska to the southern states of Florida and Mexico. Its range extends as far as the Caribbean Sea.

It can reach lengths of up to 70–90 centimeters (28–35 inches) in length and seems to be an entirely black bird.

During the breeding season, it develops a little double crest consisting of black and white feathers on its head.

These different types of water birds have a total wing span that ranges from 114 to 123 centimeters (45–48 in).

In the wild, the average lifespan of a Double-crested Cormorant is roughly 6.1 years.

4. Ferruginous Duck

Ferruginous Duck
by Koshyk is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The ferruginous duck, also known by its scientific name, Aythya nyroca, is a bird species that originate from the region of Eurosiberia. It is medium size.

Other names include ferruginous pochard, common white-eye, and white-eyed pochard.

However, the name ferruginous duck comes from Greek Lithuania, which refers to an unidentified kind of seabird that was described in writings by authors such as Hesychius and Aristotle, and nyrok.

The duck species is referred to by its Russian name, the nyrok.

5. Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis
by Andy Morffew is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The scientific name for the Glossy ibis is Plegadis falcinellus. This bird of the water is a member of the family Threskiornithidae, also known as the spoonbill family.

The ancient Greek word plegados and the Latin word falcis, both of which mean “sickle,” contributed to the naming of this bird species. This is a reference to the characteristic outline of the bill.

Reeds, papyrus, or rushes are only a few of the types of flora that it thrives best among while it is in its natural habitat in freshwater or brackish wetland.

Although water beetles, dragonflies, damselflies, damselfly, grasshoppers, crickets, flies, and caddisflies make up the bulk of the Glossy Ibis’ food, the precise composition of that diet shifts with the changing of the seasons.

6. Greylag Geese

Greylag Geese
by ell brown is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Anser anser, or Greylag Geese, is a giant goose member of the Anatidae waterfowl family.

Its scientific name is “Greylag Goose.” The bird species has a total wing span of 57.8-70.8 inches (147-180 cm) and can grow to a maximum height of 29.9-35 inches (76-89 cm).

The average flight speed of a Greylag Goose is 4.3 miles per hour (6.9 kph). The young of the greylag goose is called goslings.

Its primary diet consists of cereal grains, grasses, roots, oats, barley, peas, lentils, wheat, buckwheat, and seeds, as well as barley and root crops.

These birds can live in the wild for as long as 35 years on average, making them one of the longest-living birds on our list of different types of water birds.

7. Large-billed Tern

Large-billed Tern
by barloventomagico is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Laridae is the family that includes the species of tern known as the Large-billed tern, also known by its scientific name, Phaetusa simplex.

Researchers made observations of the bird species in various parts of South America.

The Large-billed Tern is most likely to be seen breeding and feeding in the vicinity of rivers and freshwater lakes.

The entire wing span of this type of bird measures between 34 and 36 inches. It consumes a wide variety of animals found in the water as well as insects.

8. Mandarin Duck

Mandarin Duck
by Frank.Vassen is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Mandarin duck is a colorful species with a greenish-black forehead and a purple crest on the rear of its head. It is one of the more exotic duck species.

Its maximum length is between 21.0 and 24.5 centimeters (8.3 and 9.7 inches), and its average weight is 0.63 kg (1.4 lbs.).

The female of this species is significantly larger than its male counterpart.

The diet of the most common bird species consists of things like seeds, acorns, small fruit, insects, snails, and even fish that are rather small.

In the wild, the average lifespan of this species is between six and seven years.

9. Kingfisher

by Andy Morffew is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Kingfisher is a popular mention in this compilation of different types of water birds.

The Kingfisher is an aquatic bird of medium size that is well known for its stunning water dives.

It is one of the most beautiful water birds seen anywhere on the planet.

Kingfishers are colorful birds with short tails, huge heads, and orange-blue feathers on their bodies. You can identify Kingfishers by their vivid colors.

In addition to this, you will find them most frequently in the tropical areas of the continents of Africa, Asia, and Oceania.

Kingfishers consume a diverse array of food items, including fish, tiny invertebrates, and many other things.

In addition, they can thrive in a variety of settings. However, they are more prevalent in bodies of water like rivers and lakes.

10. Swans

by TexasEagle is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

The Swan is a magnificent water bird with long necks and big bodies and is one of the nicest creatures in the world.

Swans are recognized as the largest living species and also among the largest flying birds.

Additionally, this bird with large feet swims and flies with slow wingbeats that cause its neck to extend out, giving the impression that it is gliding gracefully.

These birds are one of the most peaceful animals in the entire animal kingdom. They are also one of the most famous animals on our list of different types of water birds.

In addition, males and females look virtually the same, even though male swans are called cobs, and female swans are called pens.

They consume food by foraging on aquatic plants in shallow water. Swans are gregarious birds almost always found in groups, and it is fascinating to observe that they make a wide variety of noises. They also tend to congregate in large numbers.

11. African Jacana

African Jacana
by Takashi(aes256) is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The African jacana is an easily recognizable bird that you may identify by its chestnut-colored upper parts, black wingtips, azure blue bill, and unusually large toes at the end of its legs.

On the other hand, females are often larger than their male counterparts.

Also, it is one of the gorgeous water birds that feed on water surfaces, lilies, and other types of aquatic flora using its long legs and ludicrously enlarged toes.

These different types of water birds reside in tropical and subtropical regions, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.

In addition, the African Jacana is a very gregarious bird that congregates in large groups.

12. Great Cormorant

Great Cormorant
by Frank.Vassen is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Great Cormorant is a large seabird characterized by its long and thick neck, blocky head, heavy hooked bill, and broad wings.

In New Zealand, the black shag is another name for this species; you can find it all around the northern hemisphere.

In addition, the Great Cormorant has a long tail and a bright spot on the back of its throat.

The huge size of these birds, along with their heavier builds and larger beak, makes them quite easy to identify.

It is interesting to know that the Great Cormorant is a mostly silent bird and that you can find it primarily in freshwater lakes, estuaries, the sea, rivers, and other bodies of water.

13. American Dipper

American Dipper
by kdee64 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The American Dipper is a stocky bird with a dark grey body, a brownish head, and white feathers on the eyelids.

It is most commonly known as the Water ouzel. In addition, the American Dipper is the only songbird in North America considered a true aquatic species.

It locates all its prey beneath the surface of quickly moving streams by swimming and strolling on the streambed.

In addition, you can frequently spot these different types of water birds bird along the edges of swift-moving streams, particularly in mountainous regions.

In addition, the majority of this bird species’ range, which extends from Panama to Alaska, comprises mountainous regions of western North America and Central America.

14. Ballion’s Crake

Ballion's Crake
by Michael Khor is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Ballion’s Crake is a species of very small water bird that is also called a Marsh crack.

This bird got its name from the French naturalist Louis Antoine Francois Baillon.

This magnificent type of bird may be found worldwide, including in Europe, Central Asia, Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Australia, and Southeast Asia.

The Ballion’s Crake has long legs, greenish tones, reddish eyes, and short, straight, yellowish bills.

In addition, they can thrive in various habitats, such as freshwater lakes, saline wetlands, marshes, swamps, flooded meadows, flooded agricultural fields, fish farms with vegetation, and sewage ponds.

They consume a wide variety of foods, such as small fish, aquatic insects, seeds, berries, and other foods.

15. Black-Legged Kittiwake

Black-Legged Kittiwake
by Mick Thompson1 is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Although it is indigenous to the Arctic and sub-Arctic parts of the world, you can see these different types of water birds along the whole northern coast of the Atlantic Ocean.

It is a medium-sized bird with a white head, grey wings, a yellow bill with a pointed tip, and jet-black feet.

On the other hand, men and females are virtually indistinguishable from one another. Additionally, the tips of this bird species’ wings are black, making them quite easy to see.

On the other hand, Kittiwakes have a quite beautiful voice that is delightful to listen to.

You can find this kind of bird in almost all coastal locations, the ocean, and even seas covered in ice.

In addition, they are gregarious birds that frequently get together in cliffs along the coast to establish colonies of tens to thousands of birds.

16. Crab Plovers

Crab Plovers
by Sandeep Somasekharan is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

You can find these odd-looking wading birds known as Crab Plovers in large numbers on the tidal mudflats that surround the coasts, coastlines, and islands of the Indian Ocean.

The Crab Plover is a bird native to Africa and Asia and is remarkable because it is the only member of the Dromadidae family.

In addition, the bird has a white head, black plumage, and black coloring feathers, making it a particularly recognizable species.

In addition, it has a long neck, an erect stance, and a powerful, long, black bill that resembles a gull and is specialized for feeding.

Crab Plovers are also frequently seen residing on the sandy and muddy shores of the mainland coast and islands, as well as in estuaries, lagoons, and on coral reefs in the open ocean.

17. Loons

by lisadonoghue(away) is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

In addition to being a pejorative term for an insane person, the term “loon” can also refer to a subspecies of diving birds.

Although loons and ducks may appear to have a comparable body plan and may even be of comparable size, loons are actually members of their own taxonomic family.

The most distinctive feature of a loon is its call, which you may hear echoing over still lakes in the wee hours of the morning.

There are five different species of loons, all of which reside in the freshwater bodies present throughout the continent of North America and a significant portion of Northern Eurasia.

There are considerable populations of these different types of water birds in the lakes of New England, which you can find throughout the United States.

18. Pelicans

by Bernard Spragg is licensed under CC CC0 1.0

Pelicans are a remarkable species of waterbirds in our article on different types of water birds. They are most well-known for the huge pouches attached to their beaks.

Pelicans may be found all around the world. Pelicans utilize the pouches in their throats to assist them in capturing fish and subsequently draining the water from the fish before ingesting it.

These birds typically hunt in flocks or large groups and move together.

Pelicans are in a difficult position because many recreational fishermen view them as a nuisance, and there have been reports of pelicans becoming caught or hooked by fishing gear.

There are eight different species of pelicans distributed over the planet, with the exception of Antarctica, where only one exists.

Pelicans are most comfortable in warm, coastal habitats. Pelicans can thrive throughout the southern states of the United States, including Florida, Louisiana, and Texas.

19. Penguins

Photo by lorilorilo on Pixabay

The penguin is undoubtedly one of the most well-known birds on this list of different types of water birds.

They appear to be flying through the water due to the effortless method in which they glide through it.

These birds spend about the same amount of time on land and in the water as they do overall.

Penguins are skilled hunters who stalk their marine prey, including fish, krill, and squid, among other creatures.

The Southern Hemisphere is home to eight different species of penguins, except for one.

There is some disagreement among members of the scientific community as to the exact number of different species of penguins, but estimates put the total somewhere between 17 and 20.

Penguins are endemic to Antarctica; however, many species of penguins actually call regions with warmer, more temperate climates home, such as South Africa and South America.

20. Puffins

Photo by ebor on Pixabay

The puffin is a species of bird that lives in the ocean and is highly proficient in swimming.

They are only distantly related to penguins, even though they have similar coloring.

In contrast to penguins, puffins have the ability to both fly and swim. The puffin is a friendly bird that lives in vast colonies.

These colonies are typically in rock crevices and cliffs, where the puffins find protection.

When they are in the air, puffins are capable of beating their wings an astounding 400 times per minute.

There are only three species of puffins, and they all dwell in coastal areas in the Northern Hemisphere.

The only place you can find puffins is in the Northern Hemisphere.

The shores of the North Atlantic and North Pacific oceans are home to puffin colonies.

You can find puffins on both coasts. Only states with milder climates, like Maine and Alaska, are typically conducive for puffins to reside in. Puffins are prevalent in these states.

21. Coots

by FotoGrazio is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Coots are tiny waterbirds that resemble ducks but are not ducks. There are various kinds of coots.

However, you can distinguish them from one another because of their extremely dark and black plumage.

The coot spends most of its time in watery settings, primarily on aquatic plants but occasionally consumes invertebrates and larger insects.

There are ten distinct species of coots across all continents except for Antarctica. Another for Coots is moorhens.

There are ten species of coots, six of which are native to either Southern or Central America.

22. Grebes

by goingslo is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The last mention in our article of different types of water birds is grebes. Grebes are birds that dive for food and are much more at home in the water than on land.

They have the ability to fly. However, they can only do it for brief periods and travel very short distances.

In contrast to most other aquatic birds, Grebes build their nests out of reeds and other types of vegetation and then float them in the water to deposit their eggs.

Grebe chicks are born able to swim, which may help explain why these birds favor the sea over land when they first learn to fly.

Grebes tend to choose habitats with fresh water. However, you can also find them in marine or ocean areas during the migration or during the winter season.

There are 22 species of Grebes, many of which are on every continent except Antarctica.

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