Features: Yellow perch are golden, with six to nine dark vertical bars. They have two well-separated dorsal fins; the second fin has two or three spines. Lower fins are yellowish-orange and, unlike walleye, yellow perch do not have canine teeth. Maximum size in Oregon exceeds 3 pounds and 18-inches long. They are prolific spawners, often resulting in an overpopulation of stunted fish. Habitat: Yellow perch prefer lakes, reservoirs and slower moving streams that have cool, clean water and ample vegetation. Perch bite readily and are therefore popular with young and novice anglers. Technique: In the spring and fall, find yellow
Features: Both males and females have a bluish bill with a black tip. Drakes are white on the top of the head, green eye stripes, purplish breast and flanks, white belly and wing covert patch, and have an iridescent black/green speculum. The grayish hen shows white on the wing covert patch. Habitat: An abundant overwintering duck, especially in the Willamette Valley and coastal areas. Prefer shallow habitats like wet meadows or marshes where, like geese, they feed on green grass and sedges. Techniques: These ducks are early migrants (September) but can be common in mixed duck bags throughout the season
Features: Drakes have a reddish head and neck; black breast, lower back and tail coverts; nearly white back, flank, and belly, and dark gray tail. The hen is grayish brown with a darker brown head, neck, breast and tail coverts. Canvasbacks are large; adults in good condition are as heavy as mallards and second in size only to the white-winged scoter among common Oregon ducks. Habitat: Brackish estuarine bays and marshes with abundant submerged aquatic vegetation and invertebrates are ideal wintering habitat for canvasbacks. Techniques: Generally part of a mixed duck bag. These ducks have a reputation as good table
Features: Drakes are easily distinguished from American wigeon drakes by a reddish brown head, gray flank, and lack of green eye stripe. Hens are similar to American wigeon hens and difficult to distinguish. The call of the male is a shrill whistling, whe'e you; the female's voice a low purr or croak. It is a rare to uncommon visitant east of the Cascades.
Features: Adult drakes have a black bill, buff head, gray body, and black upper and lower tail coverts. Hens are nondescript brown ducks with a spotted, yellowish-orange bill with black edges. Unique among dabbling ducks, the gadwall has a partly white speculum (rear part of the wing) that can be seen when the bird is in flight. Habitat: Submerged aquatic vegetation makes up the majority of the gadwall's diet. As a result, they are often found feeding far from the shoreline, in deeper water than most other dabbling ducks. Can be abundant is eastern Oregon early in the season, but
Features: Drakes show graceful patterns of black and white plumage, glossy purple heads, white crescent-shaped patches between the eye and bill, steep forehead, and short bill. Females and juveniles have a chocolate-brown head, slate-gray back, wings and tail; adult females have a golden bill. Habitat: Not common, but usually scattered on lakes, reservoirs and coastal estuaries. They share Snake River habitat with the common goldeneye. Techniques: Not usually targeted, they are a rare part of a mixed duck bag.
Features: Drakes have a black head with a white spot below and in front of the eye -- rather than the crescent-shaped patch of the barrow's goldeneye -- white neck, breast and flanks and a black back and tail. Hens have a brown head, light neck, breast and belly, brown backs and flanks. Drakes and hens of both common and Barrow's goldeneye have a distinctive golden ring around the pupil. Habitat: It is a common migrant in northeastern Oregon and winter resident of the Snake, Columbia, Klamath, Rogue and Umpqua rivers. Techniques: These ducks travel in small groups of two
Features: Males have glossy, slate-blue plumage accented with white stripes and dots. Females are mottled brown. Habitat: In the summer these ducks breed on fast water rivers in western Oregon. During winter they can be spotted in rocky intertidal areas along the coast. Larger concentrations of wintering birds are usually seen in Lane, Lincoln and Coos counties. Techniques: These ducks are extremely rare in the bag. Their winter habitat of rocky intertidal areas are mostly inaccessible to hunters.
Features: The winter males' body is mostly white except for a black breast and central back; the wings are dark, scapulars long and gray, and the dark central tail feathers are long and slender. Winter females are darker above with a light head; scapulars and tail feathers are short and dark. Dark areas mark females' heads and males' necks. Habitat: Long-tailed ducks can show up almost anywhere from the coast (they usually winter off shore) to inland on the Columbia River and on lakes throughout the state. Techniques: Some long-tailed ducks are taken in Oregon, but not enough to show
Features: During the fall, winter and spring months, males can be quickly identified by their distinctive iridescent green heads. Females are mottled-brown, with a dark brown stripe through each eye, an orange bill with black splotching and have orange legs. Immature ducks resemble adult females until the males develop more colorful plumage in early fall. After breeding season, males develop duller eclipse plumage beginning in June and resemble hens until mid-September. Wings of both sexes have a violet-blue speculum bordered in front and behind by a pronounced white stripe. Habitat: Mallards are the most common breeding and wintering duck in
Features: Males have white sides and breasts, deep green heads and dark backs. The pearl gray bodies and white breasts of females, subadults, and eclipse males are sharply delineated from their full-crested chestnut heads. Habitat: During the winter, these ducks are wide-spread in rivers, lakes and marshes across the state. Techniques: Not usually sought for table fare.
Features: The male has a striking black head with a white crest, white breast, black back, and chestnut sides. Females and immatures are dull grayish brown except for a reddish-brown crest. Habitat: During migration hooded mergansers are widespread, though uncommon, across Oregon. They are usually in sheltered areas of lakes and ponds and less commonly on estuaries. Often seem in pairs or small groups. Techniques: Not usually targeted, they can be part of a mixed duck bag.
Features: Males have a ragged-crested, dark green head, a reddish-brown breast, a dark back and gray sides. Females share the ragged crest; their rufous heads and gray bodies may make it hard to tell them from female common mergansers. Their bills, however, are noticeably slimmer. Habitat: Red-breasted mergansers are common from fall through spring, mostly in coastal bays and estuaries but occasionally on the open ocean. Techniques: Their preferred habitat within dangerous ocean waters makes them inaccessible to hunters.
Features: The pintail is an elegant long-necked duck. The long-tailed, full-plumaged drake is striking with a chestnut head, gray back and flanks, bright white breast and front of neck, and iridescent green-bronze speculum. The brown hen is nondescript, but shares the long neck and graceful shape of the drake. Both have a blue-gray bill. Habitat: Pintails prefer the open habitats of sheet water fields and large marshes or ponds. They are a puddle or dabbling duck and usually feed by dabbling or dipping rather than submerging. It is a rare breeder but an abundant fall migrant statewide and one of
Features: The other "greenhead", the drake is handsome with a dark iridescent green head, white breast, reddish belly, blue wing patch of coverts, and an iridescent green speculum. Brown hens also have blue wing patches similar to that of the cinnamon and blue-wing teal. Habitat: This dabbling duck prefers lakes and ponds where it uses its unique bill to sift through water in shallow areas. Food choices include the seeds of sedges, bulrushes and other aquatic plants, duck weed, and algae; also aquatic insects, mollusks and crustaceans. Common winter species in the Willamette Valley and Columbia Basin, but widespread throughout
Features: The drake has a red head, black breast and tail coverts, and steel gray back, flanks and tail. Hens are a medium brown. During courtship, the drake utters a very unduck-like meow. Habitat: This diving duck is a locally common breeding species throughout the marshes of eastern Oregon such as Ladd Marsh, Summer Lake, the Warner Wetlands, and Malheur NWR. Known for nest parasitism, laying eggs in the nests of other birds, usually other diving ducks, redhead eggs have also been found in the nests of a variety of species. Techniques: The redhead is a very uncommon winter resident
Features: The black back, white crescent on the side just in front of the wing, and white-ringed bill separate the drake ring-neck from the scaups. The brownish neck ring of the male in alternate plumage is not prominent. The hen is a small dark brown duck with a buff face. Drakes in courtship give a head-throw accompanied by a wow note while hens utter a growling purr. The ring-necked duck can resemble a scaup, so hunters need to know what they are shooting at. Habitat: These ducks are pretty widespread during the winter months. They generally prefer fresh water, from