Waterfowl are certain wildfowl of the order Anseriformes
The order Anseriformes contains about 150 living species of birds in three extant families: the Anhimidae , Anseranatidae , and the Anatidae, which includes over 140 species of waterfowl, among them the ducks, geese, and swans.All species in the order are highly adapted for an aquatic existence at...
, especially members of the family Anatidae
Anatidae is the biological family of birds that includes ducks, geese and swans. The family has a cosmopolitan distribution, occurring on all the world's continents except Antarctica and on most of the world's islands and island groups...
, which includes duck
Duck is the common name for a large number of species in the Anatidae family of birds, which also includes swans and geese. The ducks are divided among several subfamilies in the Anatidae family; they do not represent a monophyletic group but a form taxon, since swans and geese are not considered...
The word goose is the English name for a group of waterfowl, belonging to the family Anatidae. This family also includes swans, most of which are larger than true geese, and ducks, which are smaller....
, and swan
Swans, genus Cygnus, are birds of the family Anatidae, which also includes geese and ducks. Swans are grouped with the closely related geese in the subfamily Anserinae where they form the tribe Cygnini. Sometimes, they are considered a distinct subfamily, Cygninae...
They are strong swimmers with medium to large bodies. They have historically been an important food source, and continue to be hunted as game, or raised as poultry
Poultry are domesticated birds kept by humans for the purpose of producing eggs, meat, and/or feathers. These most typically are members of the superorder Galloanserae , especially the order Galliformes and the family Anatidae , commonly known as "waterfowl"...
for meat and eggs. The domestic duck is sometimes kept as a pet.
Some definitions of the term 'waterfowl' include the saltwater shorebirds or wader
Waders, called shorebirds in North America , are members of the order Charadriiformes, excluding the more marine web-footed seabird groups. The latter are the skuas , gulls , terns , skimmers , and auks...
Gulls are birds in the family Laridae. They are most closely related to the terns and only distantly related to auks, skimmers, and more distantly to the waders...
A pelican, derived from the Greek word πελεκυς pelekys is a large water bird with a large throat pouch, belonging to the bird family Pelecanidae....
s, and heron
The herons are long-legged freshwater and coastal birds in the family Ardeidae. There are 64 recognised species in this family. Some are called "egrets" or "bitterns" instead of "heron"....
s, as well as seabird
Seabirds are birds that have adapted to life within the marine environment. While seabirds vary greatly in lifestyle, behaviour and physiology, they often exhibit striking convergent evolution, as the same environmental problems and feeding niches have resulted in similar adaptations...
s such as the albatross
Albatrosses, of the biological family Diomedeidae, are large seabirds allied to the procellariids, storm-petrels and diving-petrels in the order Procellariiformes . They range widely in the Southern Ocean and the North Pacific...
, but 'fowl
Fowl is a word for birds in general but usually refers to birds belonging to one of two biological orders, namely the gamefowl or landfowl and the waterfowl...
' especially refers to birds used by humans for game,
- Wildfowl and Wetlands TrustWildfowl and Wetlands TrustThe Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust is a wildfowl and wetland conservation charity in the United Kingdom. Its patron is Queen Elizabeth II.It was founded in 1946 by the ornithologist and artist Sir Peter Scott, initially as the Severn Wildfowl Trust...
- Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust
- Ducks UnlimitedDucks UnlimitedDucks Unlimited is an international non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of wetlands and associated upland habitats for waterfowl, other wildlife, and people. It currently has approximately 780,000 members, mostly in the United States and Canada.-Introduction:Ducks Unlimited was...
- Ducks Unlimited