Duck identification

A state with an abundant amount of waterfowl. Share with others your New Jersey duck hunting experiences.

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Duck identification

Postby Demetri87 » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:24 pm

As stated in my other posts I've been scouting Wharton state forest. I'm not great at identifying duck species especially in low light due to my inexperience. I've found a decent amount of activity but think they may be mostly black ducks. Is there anything distinct about the way a black duck flies? The ducks I were seeing were flying in pairs, 4's, or 6's all side by side in a line but not single filed. From hunting coastal zone I thought that blacks flew more scattered and apart from each other. Are blacks common in Wharton? What other species are common in that area? I looked up duck photos but can really match what I saw. The ducks I'm seeing are also decent size too, not small like teals or woodies. Thanks
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Re: Duck identification

Postby FFT » Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:13 am

Take me to the exact spot you saw 6 or more and I will ID them for you, or just provide GPS coordinates.
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Re: Duck identification

Postby papageno » Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:49 am

Shoot one on Saturday... you'll have no problem identifying them after that.

My bet is they're woodies. (do they squeek or quack?) as that is what is mostly back in the forest. They also fly very early and late, as you described in your other post. This time of year, a nice little woodie pond in the forest is your best bet in that area. Late season - learn how the birds, mostly mallards, respond to the ice and tide on the rivers and creeks.
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Re: Duck identification

Postby ShooterNJ » Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:29 am

Best way to tell a woodie from a black is to look for the square tail in flight. If its square its a woodie. Also on the water they bob their head as they swim, Unlike big ducks...
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Re: Duck identification

Postby Demetri87 » Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:08 am

FFT, i'll get right on that. The ducks i'm seeing dont speak or quack at all when flying. THe birds that come in groups come early and low and follow the wood line. You can hear there wings whistle but other than that, nothing. I saw a few ther singles that flew over the tree line from the distance and they were flying with there head down. IM assuming they might be mallards. Wouldnt I be able to see color on the ducks if they were woodies? I thought they were failry colorful.
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Re: Duck identification

Postby papageno » Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:18 pm

Woodies habitually hold their heads low while flying. Mallards and blacks can look around and down a bit, but not usually.
Just remember - when pass shooting fast flying ducks, you have to lead them by a long way or you'll only pull tail feathers. Shooting at divers (buffies) screaming across the water is the best way to learn lead.

Good luck in the morning.
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Re: Duck identification

Postby xxDuckWildxx » Sun Oct 21, 2012 3:57 pm

You can always tell a black duck in flight by a dark body with stark contrasting white underwings. Woodies tend to look flattened out as they fly with their heads low, sometimes lower than their bodies and a longer squared tail. I recommend picking up a copy of the "ducks at a distance" booklet from the USFWS it's great
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