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Diving and dabbling ducks

In the zoo’s bird lake you’ll find several species of geese and ducks. They are representatives of the almost 150 species belonging to the family of ducks and geese (including swans). All species are highly adapted for a life in or near water. They have webbed feet for increased paddling ability.

Threat category according to IUCN
  • Least
  • Near
  • Vulnerable
  • Endangered
  • Critically
  • Utdöd
  • Class Birds (Aves)
  • Order Waterfowl (Anseriformes)
  • Family Swans, geese, ducks (Anatidae)
  • Genus Various –wild birds occur
  • Species Various –wild birds occur

The weight varies from just under 1 kg to 2–3 kg, depending on species.


Among the dabbling ducks are included mallard, wigeon and common shelduck. Diving ducks are for instance common goldeneye, tufted duck and common pochard. The two groups differ in the following ways: dabbling ducks stay in shallow waters where they can reach the bottom with their bills without having to dive down. Diving ducks can dive to considerable depths for food. Dabbling ducks will take off almost vertically from the surface of the water, while diving ducks run on the surface facing the wind before take-off. Dabbling ducks will keep their tail feathers above the surface of the water while swimming, whereas the tails of the diving ducks are in the water.

Food habits

Dabbling ducks are primarily vegetarian while diving ducks feed on aquatic organisms and clams.


Approximately 15 years.

Threat category

None of the duck species found in Borås Zoo are endangered.


Ducks will commonly nest in bushes or tree hollows (natural or artificial) near freshwater.

Did you know?

There are significantly more males than females in many species of ducks. Equal numbers of both genders have been shown to hatch, but why the female mortality is higher is still unknown.

When preparing the nest, the female will pull down off her own body. The down keeps the eggs warmer underneath and provides a softer surface, preventing breakage.

Grey wolf > < Lynx