Sunday Inspiration – Anas Genus

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) With young ©CountryTraveler

“If a bird’s nest chance to be before thee in the way in any tree, or on the ground, whether they be young ones, or eggs, and the dam sitting upon the young, or upon the eggs, thou shalt not take the dam with the young:” (Deuteronomy 22:6 KJV)

Today’s group of members from the “Ducks Plus” family, the Anatidae, are all from one Genus. The Anas according to Wikionary is: ” A taxonomic genus within the family Anatidae – various species of dabbling duck. These are probably the most common group of ducks many of us see.  The genus name is the Latin for “duck”. It includes mallards, wigeons, teals, pintails and shovelers in a number of subgenera. “Dabbling” is where the duck upends itself to feed. They feed mainly on water plants, which they obtain by tipping-up in shallows—uncommonly by diving (with opened wings); they often forage near the shore for seeds and insects. The bill is flat and broad, the hindtoe unlobed. Dabbling ducks float high in the water and are swift fliers, leaping upward on noisy wings before attaining level flight, usually in compact flocks.

Blue-Winged-Teal-Dabbling ©Flyways USFWS

Blue-Winged-Teal-Dabbling ©Flyways USFWS

The mallard (/ˈmælɑːrd/ or /ˈmælərd/) or wild duck (Anas platyrhynchos) is a dabbling duck which breeds throughout the temperate and subtropical Americas, Europe, Asia, and North Africa, and has been introduced to New Zealand, Australia, Peru, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, the Falkland Islands and South Africa. This duck belongs to the subfamily Anatinae of the waterfowl family Anatidae.

The male birds (drakes) have a glossy green head and are grey on wings and belly, while the females (hens or ducks) have mainly brown-speckled plumage. Both sexes have an area of white-bordered black speculum feathers which commonly also include iridescent blue feathers especially among males. Mallards live in wetlands, eat water plants and small animals, and are social animals preferring to congregate in groups or flocks of varying sizes. This species is the main ancestor of most breeds of domesticated ducks. I personally think that this duck, the Mallard, was on board the Ark. He seems to have obey the command to:

“Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives with thee. Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth.” (Genesis 8:16-17 KJV)

Mallard Duck Family ©WikiC ©WikiC

Mallard Duck Family ©WikiC

The mallard was one of the many bird species originally described by Carl Linnaeus in his 18th-century work Systema Naturae, and still bears its original binomial name. The scientific name is from Latin Anas, “duck” and Ancient Greek platyrhynchus , “broad-billed” ( from platus, “broad” and rhunkhos, ” bill”).

But the Mallard is not the only duck in this genus, Anas. There are 48 others. As mentioned, much interbreeding has taken place, and eventually these were raised to species status. After showing you the Wood Ducks last week, their is another beauty from the Lord in this week’s group.

Baikal Teal (Anas formosa) ©WikiC

Baikal Teal (Anas formosa) ©WikiC

We have seen this Teal, but not in that breeding outfit.

Baikal Teal (Anas formosa) Zoo Miami by Lee

Baikal Teal (Anas formosa) Zoo Miami by Lee

Unfortunately this genus contains “some of the world’s finest game birds: the black duck(Anas rubripes), much sought after by hunters; the mallard; the gadwall(Anas strepera); the garganey (A. querquedula); the pintail (A. acuta), perhaps the world’s most abundant waterfowl; the shoveler (Anas, or Spatula, clypeata), the “spoonbill” of hunters; the teals, races of Anas crecca and other species; the wigeons, Anas, or Mareca, americana and A.,or M., penelope. (Enclopeaedia Britannica) As you all know, I am a birdwatcher/photographer, not a hunter. I realize hunter organizations do much to maintain hunting areas and prevent over-hunting. That is a good thing, but not my “cup of tea.”

Here is a of each by last name:

Teals do not totally submerge when feeding and are often seen with just their rears showing as the search for food. Because of their feeding method, teals are more buoyant than diving ducks.

Cape Teal (Anas capensis), Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors), Cinnamon Teal (Anas cyanoptera), Bernier’s Teal (Anas bernieri), Mascarene Teal (Anas theodori), Sunda Teal (Anas gibberifrons), Andaman Teal (Anas albogularis), Grey Teal (Anas gracilis), Chestnut Teal (Anas castanea), Auckland Teal (Anas aucklandica), Campbell Teal (Anas nesiotis), Brown Teal (Anas chlorotis), Red-billed Teal (Anas erythrorhyncha), Yellow-billed Teal (Anas flavirostris), Andean Teal (Anas andium), Baikal Teal (Anas formosa), Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca), Green-winged Teal (Anas carolinensis), Silver Teal (Anas versicolor), Puna Teal (Anas puna), Hottentot Teal (Anas hottentota)
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 Gadwall (Anas strepera) by Nikhil Devasar

Gadwall (Anas strepera) by Nikhil Devasar

The gadwall is a quieter duck, except during its courtship display.

Gadwall (Anas strepera)
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Falcated Duck (Anas falcata) at Wings of Asia by Lee

Falcated Duck (Anas falcata) at Wings of Asia by Lee

Ducks are mostly aquatic birds, mostly smaller than the swans and geese, and may be found in both fresh water and sea water.
Falcated Duck (Anas falcata), African Black Duck (Anas sparsa), American Black Duck (Anas rubripes), Mottled Duck (Anas fulvigula), Mexican Duck (Anas diazi), Hawaiian Duck (Anas wyvilliana), Laysan Duck (Anas laysanensis), Philippine Duck (Anas luzonica), Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa), Indian Spot-billed Duck (Anas poecilorhyncha), Eastern Spot-billed Duck (Anas zonorhyncha), Yellow-billed Duck (Anas undulata), Meller’s Duck (Anas melleri)
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Mallards by Dan

Mallards by Dan

The male mallards (drakes) have a glossy green head and are grey on wings and belly, while the females (hens or ducks) have mainly brown-speckled plumage.
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
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American Wigeon (Anas americana) by Daves BirdingPix

American Wigeon (Anas americana) by Daves BirdingPix

The wigeons are similarly shaped, with a steep forehead and bulbous rear to the head.

Chiloe Wigeon (Anas sibilatrix), Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope), American Wigeon (Anas americana), Amsterdam Wigeon (Anas marecula),
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Northern Shoveler Male Close Up

Northern Shoveler Male Close Up

The shovelers (American English), or shovellers (British English), are four species of dabbling ducks with long, broad spatula-shaped beaks:

Cape Shoveler (Anas smithii), Red Shoveler (Anas platalea), Australasian Shoveler (Anas rhynchotis), Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
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Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) ©USFWS

Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) ©USFWS

The Pintail is a large duck, and the male’s long central tail feathers give rise to the species’ English and scientific names.

White-cheeked Pintail (Anas bahamensis), Yellow-billed Pintail (Anas georgica), Northern Pintail (Anas acuta), Eaton’s Pintail (Anas eatoni)
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Garganey (Anas querquedula) by Nikhil Devasar

Garganey (Anas querquedula) by Nikhil Devasar

Garganey (Anas querquedula)
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“And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid.” (John 6:18-20 KJV)

“Ship Ahoy”~  from “Great is Thy Faithfulness” by Dr. Richard Gregory

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More Sunday Inspirations

Sharing The Gospel

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2 thoughts on “Sunday Inspiration – Anas Genus

  1. WOW! This comprehensive study of different ducks is just — ducky! (Thanks, Lee — I’m also partial to teals, pintails, wigeons, and Northern shovelers.) The mallard family stroll is a favorite photo, too. Of course, if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck . . . .

    Liked by 1 person

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