Idaho Hunter Safety Course


Migratory Waterfowl


Ducks and geese are examples of migratory waterfowl. These are birds who live on and near the water and migrate south during colder months. Migratory waterfowl hunting usually requires a special “migratory waterfowl stamp” to do so. As always, consult local regulations for migratory waterfowl hunting in your area. Note that there are many species of waterfowl that are protected by law.

Waterfowl hunting in Idaho can be regulated by municipal, state and federal agencies. Before you head out on your hunt, be sure to consult Idaho's Waterfowl Regulations.

Idaho's Migratory Birds


Trumpeter Swan

Snow Goose


Idaho carries a range of migratory birds including the Trumpeter Swan and Snow Goose. They are similar looking birds because they both have white feathers but can be told apart in a few ways. The Trumpeter Swan has a black bill and the Snow Goose has a pink bill as well as pink legs and it has black-tipped wings.The trumpeter swan is a protected species in Idaho.

Blue Goose; Ross Goose

Blue Snow Goose (morph)

Ross's Goose


There is a sub-species of the snow goose that is typically known as the "blue goose".  This goose is about the same size as the common snow goose and has similar characteristics, however it is a much darker color.  The Ross's Goose is often considered a smaller version of the snow goose however it is an entirely different species. It is much smaller than the typical snow goose, and is rarely found in a blue "morph" stage.

Canada and White Fronted Geese

Canada Goose

White-Fronted Goose


There are several other geese commonly found in Idaho, including the Canada Goose (also known as 'honkers') and the smaller White-Fronted Goose, which have white feathers on the forehead and the base of the bill. Proper identification is critical when hunting waterfowl. The white-fronted goose cannot be hunted in Idaho.