Bird blogging is a privilege, in that recounting one’s birding excursions is a lot more fun when an audience actually follows the action. I’ve always loved sharing the details of my trips, but discovered early that writing the same species over and over became dreadfully tedious. Back in 2007, I tried to streamline my bird blogging workflow by establishing some expedient shorthand for trip reports.

Waterfowl represented the first group of birds on my list for what should be obvious reasons. Although winter presents the best opportunities for spotting a diversity of waterfowl, the same handful of species makes up at least 90% of all sightings in the New York Metro area no matter what time of year it is. I later found that these three species dominate across the entire Empire State and the rest of the northeastern United States…

Canada Goose

Mute Swan

Mallard (a big deal everywhere!)

If I wanted to stretch this list a little further, I’d look outside the standard swan-duck-goose waterfowl paradigm to other birds that foul water like the delightful Double-crested Cormorant. Really, birds from coots to grebes to loons might make the list if they’re common enough, but no species are more prevalent where I live than the three above.

What are your usual waterfowl?

Written by Mike
Mike is a leading authority in the field of standardized test preparation, but he's also a traveler who fully expects to see every bird in the world. Besides founding 10,000 Birds in 2003, Mike has also created a number of other entertaining but now extirpated nature blog resources, particularly the Nature Blog Network and I and the Bird.