If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck ... then it must be a water birds quiz!
When you think of birds, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Feathers? Wings? Beaks? Maybe you think of what birds are best known for doing - soaring through the wide-open sky! However, like a lot of other types of animals; like mammals and reptiles, birds share a lot of similarities with each other while still managing to be incredibly diverse at the same time. Some birds (like the ostrich, the emu, and the kiwi) spend their whole lives on the ground, never once getting to experience the freedom of soaring through the sky. On the other end of the spectrum, there are some birds (that both can and can't fly) that love the water. These birds would much rather dive and swim in lakes, rivers and oceans.
In this quiz, we're going to take a look at some of the most common and also some of the most unique water birds that are alive today. Be prepared to see some familiar ones that may live close to home and also some that live on the other side of the world! So get your goggles and flippers and let's dive right in to this quiz!
The emperor penguin is a water bird that can only be found in Antarctica, the southernmost and coldest continent in the world. Emperor penguins are notable for being the largest penguin species, in terms of both height and weight.
The Canada goose is a water bird that is native to North America and parts of Europe. They have effectively adapted to be able to live in human-altered areas; however, they are also one of the most commonly hunted waterfowl in North America.
The mallard is a water bird and species of duck that can be found in every continent in the world except Antarctica. However, it is worth noting that it was actually not native to South America but has since then been introduced to several countries there.
The Caribbean flamingo is a water bird that is also sometimes referred to as the American flamingo. As its name suggests, it can be found throughout the Caribbean and the northern coast of South America; it is notable for being the only flamingo that is native to North America.
The brown booby is a water bird that can be found in tropical regions of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. They have notable breeding grounds in the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico and their diet primarily consists of fish and squid.
The Laysan albatross is a water bird that is named for the Hawaiian island of Laysan, one of its primary breeding colonies. The oldest confirmed wild bird in the world is “Wisdom” (born around 1951 and tagged by scientists in 1956), a wild female Laysan albatross.
The painted stork is a water bird that can be found in the Indian Subcontinent and parts of Southeast Asia. They feed primarily on small fish but have been known to eat frogs and snakes as well.
The mandarin duck is a water bird that is native to East Asia but also closely related to wood duck of North America. They have been regarded in Chinese culture as a symbol of fidelity and conjugal affection.
The masked booby is a water bird that can be found on islands in tropical oceans. They notably exhibit siblicide more often than not, where the first chick will kill its smaller, weaker sibling shortly after it hatches.
The black-necked swan is a water bird that is found primarily in South America. It notably holds the distinction of being the largest waterfowl that is native to the continent.
The Pacific loon is a water bird that breeds on the cold tundra lakes of North America and eastern Siberia. They are migratory birds and can often be seen in the United States and Mexico, as well as also in parts of Japan, China and the Korean peninsula.
The greater flamingo is a water bird that is native to the Indian subcontinent, Africa, parts of southern Europe, and the Middle East. It is notable for being the largest species of flamingo.
The Pacific gull is a water bird that is native to the coasts of Australia. They are relatively plentiful and hardy and as such, they are classified as having a “least concern” conservation status.
The black storm petrel is a water bird that has breeding grounds off of the Pacific coast of California and Mexico. Rats and feral cats have notably reduced their populations of some of their breeding islands.
The magnificent frigatebird is a water bird that can be found near the tropical and subtropical waters of the Americas. It is notable for being the largest species of frigatebird in the world.
The brown pelican is a water bird that can be found in North America and the northern coasts of South America. It is the state bird of Louisiana and the national bird of several Caribbean islands; including Barbados, Saint Kitts and Nevis and Saint Martin.
The Amazon kingfisher is a water bird that is native to the American tropics. In addition to fish, they also feed on amphibians and insects.
The Chinese goose is a water bird that lays an average of 50 – 60 eggs during each breeding season. It is actually one of the most notable breeds of domesticated goose in the world.
The Dalmatian pelican is a water bird that can be found in parts of Europe, India, China and Russia. They are notable for being one of the largest freshwater birds in the world (some swans rival them in size) and the largest species of pelican.
The trumpeter swan is a water bird that can be found throughout North America. It holds the distinction of being the largest species of waterfowl and also the heaviest bird that is native to North America.
The little pied cormorant is a water bird that can be primarily found in Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, and Indonesia. Most of its prey consists of animals that are found on the sea floor and as a result it is often seen diving in moderately shallow water.
The Galápagos penguin is a water bird that, as its name suggests, is native to the Galápagos Islands. It holds the distinction of being the only species of penguin that is found north of the equator.
The red-footed booby is a water bird that can be found throughout the tropics. It is known for its distinctive red feet (hence its name) and has a least concern conservation status.
The African penguin is a water bird that is found exclusively in the waters at the southern tip of Africa. They are the only species of penguin that is found in the continent and they feed primarily on fish and squid.
The blue-footed booby is a water bird that is native to regions of the eastern Pacific Ocean. Their blue feet are actually a sexually selected trait and males use them in a mating ritual with potential mates.
The red-billed tropicbird is a water bird that can be found across all three of the major oceans in the world: Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian. While introduced rats and cats do oftentimes threaten their nests, overall they have a least concern conservation status.
The mute swan is a water bird that can be found throughout Eurasia and minor parts of North Africa – they have also notably been introduced to North America. Their name is a reference to the fact that they are notably less vocal compared to other swan species.
The great white pelican is a water bird that is found predominantly in Africa, parts of Asia, and also southeastern Europe. It goes by several other names; including “rosy pelican” and “eastern white pelican”.
The great shearwater is a water bird that has an extensive native range that encompasses coasts of the Americas and Africa that are washed by the Atlantic. They migratory flights sometimes carry them as far as Ireland and Great Britian.
The West Indian whistling duck is a water bird that can be found throughout the West Indies, with the most significant population being located in the Bahamas. They are known by several other names; including “Cuban whistling duck” and” black-billed whistling duck”.
The Egyptian goose is a water bird that can be found throughout Europe. More specifically, it is primarily found south of the Nile Valley and the Sahara.
The northern fulmar is a water bird that makes its home in subarctic regions of the North Pacific and North Atlantic. Its sister species is the southern fulmar, which is found on the coast of Antarctica and the surrounding area.
The American white pelican is a water bird that can be seen living in North America and also parts of South America as well. It is one of the longest birds in North America, with the trumpeter swan rivaling it.
The red-naped ibis is a water bird that is primarily native to the Indian Subcontinent. While it is technically a water bird, it is notably not as dependent on water compared to similar birds, being found considerable distances away from water sources on several occasions.
The Australian pelican is a water bird that can be found in Australia and parts of Oceania. It is notable for having the longest bill of any bird that is currently alive today.
The little penguin is a water bird that has been seen in regions of New Zealand, Australia and Chile. As its name would suggest, it is the smallest species of penguin in the world.
The ring-billed gull is a water bird that can be found throughout North America (USA, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, etc. ) The name of the species – delawarensis – is a direct reference to the Delaware River.
The bufflehead is a species of sea duck that can be found throughout a large portion of the North American mainland. Their English name is a reference to the shape of their head, combining the words “buffalo” and “head”.
The California gull is a water bird that is found primarily along the Pacific coasts of the United States, Mexico and Canada. While its name would suggest otherwise, the California Gull is actually the state bird of Utah.
The short-tailed albatross is a water bird that can be found throughout the North Pacific region. Throughout history it actually neared extinction but has since then been moved up to simply having “vulnerable” status.