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New Jersey Scuba Diving


New Jersey Scuba Diving

Freshwater Birds

Higher Animals

Daffy DuckHere is an assortment of birds that might be observed in and around the water. Many of these are just as likely to be found around salt water, just as many seabirds live happily around fresh water, and even no water.

See also: Sea Birds

Mallard ( Duck )

Freshwater Birds

Mallard Anas platyrhinchos

Size: 20-28"

Habitat: in and around water

There are many types of wild ducks, found worldwide in all freshwater and marine environments. The Mallard ( male shown ) is typical. Females are much drabber. Only domestic ducks are white.

Most ducks feed on water plants; some species feed on fish.

Mallard male
Mallard female
Mallards - male ( top ) and female (bottom )

Canada Goose

Freshwater Birds

Canada Goose Branta canadensis

Size: 25-43"

Habitat: in and around water

The cows of the avian world, geese are one of the only types of bird that eat grass. Their large size is necessary to carry all of the required digestive apparatus. Geese are supposed to migrate through our area, leaving only very small resident populations, but they have taken to our grassy parks and campuses so well that now huge populations live here year-round.

These resident geese are thought to be descendents of captive birds that were used by hunters as live decoys in years past, and either escaped, or were set free. These geese couldn't find Canada if they wanted to, and they don't want to. It is doubtful that they even breed with their migratory cousins.

These are not nice birds. They are noisy, they obstruct traffic and cause accidents, and they defecate everywhere on everything, fouling walkways, playgrounds, and water supplies. They will even attack small children, and are especially belligerent when guarding their own young. What is needed for these resident geese is a reclassification from protected migratory waterfowl to feral pests, so that they can be disposed-of properly.

Canada Goose Flying Vee
Canada Geese migrate in huge V-shaped formations like this every Spring and Fall.
Or at least, they are supposed to.

Great Blue Heron

Freshwater Birds

Great Blue Heron Ardea herodius

Size: 42-52"

Habitat: in and around water

These large and majestic birds may be seen wading in the shallows, hunting fish and frogs. They are not as uncommon as you might think, but watch from a distance as they do not like to be approached.

Great Blue Heron

Similar but smaller all-white egrets are actually quite common. Night Herons, smaller and usually dark green or brown, prowl around boat docks and tidal flats in the dark.

White Egret

Night Heron ( the neck is long, but this is normally not evident. )

Chimney Swift

Freshwater Birds

Chimney Swift Chaetura pelagica

Size: 5"-6"

Habitat: anywhere

These small songbirds get mentioned here only because they are so common around Dutch Springs. Look for their tail-less dark profiles and irregular, bat-like flight as they catch insects over the water. They probably nest in the abandoned factory nearby. Fork-tailed Barn Swallows are also common.



I make no claim as to the accuracy, validity, or appropriateness of any information found in this website. I will not be responsible for the consequences of any action that is based upon information found here. Scuba diving is an adventure sport, and as always, you alone are responsible for your own safety and well being.

Copyright © 1996-2016 Rich Galiano
unless otherwise noted



since 2016-09-11