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. Consult the Wildlife ID Appendix at the end of this course to learn about the waterfowl species that are hunted in Minnesota.
Puddle ducks are generally found in shallow waters, like ponds, marshes, and near shorelines of lakes. These ducks can easily move around on-land, and are easily distinguished when they take flight - springing up into the air quickly gaining altitude. The most recognized example of a puddle duck is the common mallard duck.
Diving Ducks, on the other hand, venture out to deeper waters where they dive for their food. Generally these ducks have larger webbed feet, which makes it a might more difficult for them to walk on land. When a diving duck takes off, they get a running start on the water, and take a longer time to gain altitude.
Other migratory birds include geese, doves and coots. Be sure to check local regulations for migratory bird hunting.
In addition to the Minnesota Hunting Regulations Handbook, waterfowl hunters should get a copy of Minnesota's annual Waterfowl Hunting Regulations Supplement, which contains more detailed information on waterfowl hunting. This publication is also available from the Minnesota DNR at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/regulations/hunting/index.html.