By Jon Young, Tiffany Morgan
Bargains professional guide and in-the-field recommendation for the amateur and skilled tracker.
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Extra resources for Animal Tracking Basics
Their plumage is dense and highly waterproof—a result partly due to its structure, and partly due to a coating of water-repellent oils. Although some species are ﬂightless, waterfowl generally are powerful ﬂiers on fast-ﬂapping wings, and many migrate thousands of miles to breed. FOOD AND BREEDING Most species of waterfowl eat a mixture of plant and animal food, although some kinds—such as sawbill ducks—specialize in catching ﬁsh. Geese are an exception: using their ORDER ANSERIFORMES FAMILIES 3 SPECIES 174 powerful bills and necks, they tear up plants on land, using water as a refuge and often as a place to roost.
The male also Female wild turkey The female is typically produces a characteristic bronze-green, with a less “gobbling” call, especially colorful face than the male, during courtship. and no wattle. 36 WATERFOWL Also known as wildfowl, members of this group include ducks, geese, and swans. Found on every continent except Antarctica, most of them dabble or dive for their food—usually in freshwater, but sometimes close to coasts at sea. With their webbed feet and broad bills, waterfowl are difﬁcult to confuse with any other birds.
Protective fold of skin up-tilted feet short, stiff tail SIMILAR SPECIES silver-gray back King penguin Slightly smaller, breeds on sub-Antarctic coasts Aptenodytes forsteri EMPEROR PENGUIN The emperor is the largest and heaviest penguin, and one of the few that breed on mainland Antarctica. Largely black and white, it has orange patches on the neck, ﬂipperlike wings, and short, scaly feet with well-developed claws. It feeds on ﬁsh and squid, and is a superb swimmer. Emperor penguins can dive for 10 minutes and reach depths of up to 820 ft (250 m).