12 Amazing Duck Pictures You Need to See

Updated: Oct. 25, 2023

Readers captured stunning snapshots of ducks shimmering on the water. These duck pictures will make you appreciate their beauty even more.

duck pictures
Courtesy Corine Egendoerfer

Ring-Necked Duck

“Every winter I go to Magness Lake near Heber Springs, Arkansas, to see the trumpeter swans that spend their winters there. I also see many of these adorable ring-necked ducks paddling around. It’s fun to try to catch duck pictures when they flap their wings to dry off after dipping down and bathing,” says Corine Egendoerfer of Bryant, Arkansas.

Discover more types of ducks birders should know.

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Courtesy Catherine Shires

Mallard Duck Family Pictures

“We have a summer camp in Penobscot County, Maine, where I saw this mama mallard and her 10 ducklings swim past the dock. I took out my camera and snapped this photo. It was late afternoon and the water was glasslike. I was amazed at how calm the mom was, and how beautiful and healthy the ducklings were!” says Catherine Shires of Willimantic, Connecticut.

Mallard duck facts: Male mallards don’t quack— only females do.

mandarin duck pictures
Courtesy Tanya Losey

Mandarin Duck

“As their name might suggest, Mandarin ducks are typically found in China, as well as Japan and parts of Russia. But in December 2020, this lone male Mandarin duck came to a suburban area east of Cincinnati, Ohio. He brought with him much joy during a time of COVID-19 quarantine. The duck was quite the buzz of the community, attracting birdwatchers from all around. This handsome guy even had a Facebook page dedicated to him, where he’s fondly referred to as Manny. Thank you, Manny, for reminding us to look for beauty in each day!” says Tanya Losey of Batavia, Ohio.

Learn how to identify a northern shoveler.

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Courtesy Kanika Waters

Black-Bellied Whistling Duck

“My significant other and I ventured to South Carolina to go birding and saw this black-bellied whistling-duck on the first day. I used a Canon EOS Rebel T3i, and this photo is special because I kept shooting this one bird for about 10 minutes. My significant other said, “All you need is one shot.” He was right, but I also wanted a variety of duck pictures. Ultimately, this was the one shot,” says Kanika Waters of Powder Springs, Georgia.

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Courtesy Martin Gilchrist

American Wigeon

“The local parks in my area host lots of birds and wildlife that settle here throughout the year. Every day, there’s an abundance of mallards and Canada geese, but when the American wigeons arrive they are a welcome sight and a beautiful addition to the local scenery. This photo was taken with my Canon EOS 7D Mark II camera,” says Martin Gilchrist of Eugene, Oregon.

Duck identification challenge: canvasback vs. redhead.

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Courtesy Douglas Beall

Ready to Fly

“I took this photo of a wood duck taking off in fall after feeding in forest pond. A group of ducks were taking turns exercising their wings and showing deep, rich colors,” says Douglas Beall.

Duck facts: Bread isn’t a good choice for feeding ducks. Try cracked corn instead.

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Courtesy Sujata Roy

Hooded Merganser

Birds & Blooms reader Sujata Roy shared this striking photo of a male hooded merganser.

Psst—that bird on the lake might not be a duck. Meet the water birds you should know.

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Courtesy Andy Raupp

Wood Duck

“We are lucky that numerous wood ducks show up at a small pond on our property. One day I set up my photography blind along the pond’s edge and got up extra early to beat the ducks there. After a little waiting, several arrived and swam very close to my blind,” says Andy Raupp of Montello, Wisconsin.

Wood duck facts: Thanks in part to bird lovers putting up suitable nest boxes for them, the wood duck population has rebounded in recent decades.

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Courtesy Gil Yang

Dabbing Duck

“This is a portrait of the famous Central Park Mandarin duck first spotted in the fall of 2018. As it dabbled in the park’s pond, I got down low and captured the duck and its reflection. I love the unusual pose and the colorful and angular plumage. More than any other species, this Mandarin duck got me hooked on taking bird and duck pictures,” says Gil Yang of New York, New York.

Duck facts: If you see a duck that doesn’t quite match any in your field guide, it’s probably a domesticated, not wild, duck.

duck pictures blue winged teal
Courtesy Sundar Cherala

Blue-Winged Teal

A male blue-winged teal shows off his namesake colors only when he flaps the wings. This was his way of inviting the female to come close,” says Sundar Cherala.

What is that black duck with the white bill?

harlequin duck
Courtesy Madelynn Christine

Harlequin Duck

This June we went to Glacier National Park in Montana. Even though it was summer, it was actually snowing in higher elevations. We stopped at Fish Creek Picnic Area and decided to take in the views from the banks of Lake McDonald. There, right in front of us were three pairs of harlequin ducks close by. For my first time seeing harlequins, it was quite an exciting experience to say the least,” says Madelynn Christine.

duck pictures common merganser
Courtesy Judy Kolka

Common Merganser

“I was visiting our local park in Ferrysburg, Michigan, when I spotted this duck so I started clicking away. It was a cool brisk spring day,” says Judy Kolka.

After you finish looking at these duck pictures, check out romantic and fascinating swan facts.