Sprechen Sie DUCK?
Forty-six native species of ducks, geese and swans have been documented in Texas. Most are winter visitors that travel from harsher northern climates to spend the winter months in Texas, mainly in the vast wetlands along the Gulf Coast. It has been estimated that the coastal marshes of Texas and the nearby rice fields and coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico provide winter homes for up to 45 percent of the ducks and 90 percent of the geese in the Central Flyway.
Elsewhere in Texas, migrating waterfowl traveling to and from the northern states and Canada use playa lakes in the Panhandle as stopover sites as well as for the winter months. These shallow lakes, which dot the area and cover approximately 250,000 acres, occur when runoff fills these depressions.
Ten of those 46 waterfowl species live here year-round. If these are nearby, you might hear their unique ways of communicating.
A series of three to four whistles, often voiced in flight.
Whistling, loud “kaweee.”
The female calls “oo-eek” during flight; the male sounds a high whistle during courtship.
The male calls “rhaeb-rhaeb” during times of aggression, and a short whistle during courtship. The female quacks when alarmed or separated from the male, and calls “quegegege” when excited.
Male peeps “tsee.” The female makes a high-pitched quack.
The male gives a fluty whistle;
the female quacks.
TPWD Staff; Natalya Aksenova | Dreamstime.com
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