Ducks and geese are examples of migratory waterfowl. These are birds who live on and near the water and migrate south during colder months. 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 Identification Appendix at the end of this course to learn about the waterfowl species that are hunted in Saskatchewan.
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. Their diet is mostly vegetarian with grain fields being very popular. The most recognized example of a puddle duck is the common mallard duck. Some of the best puddle duck hunting occurs in grain fields, as they fly to or from feeding.
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 make it 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.
Since geese belong to the same bird family as ducks, they have similar characteristics but are more adapted to life on land than puddle ducks. Most geese breed in the arctic except for several sub-populations of Canada geese that nest in Saskatchewan.
Refer to the Wildlife Identification Appendix for more detailed information on Saskatchewan's migratory waterfowl.