Difference Between Duck and Goose (With Table)

Duck and Goose are nothing but waterbirds belonging to the same family of Anatidae. They are usually found inhabiting near freshwater habitats like rivers, ponds, lakes, and oceanic islands. Though both the birds belong to the same family of Anatidae and have some common morphological features, they differ from each other in a lot of aspects.  

Duck vs Goose

The difference between Duck and Goose is that they differ from each other in terms of specifications like shape, size, color, and behavior. Goose is generally larger than that of a Duck, whereas Ducks are usually smaller and have fewer neck bones than that of a Goose.   

Ducks are small-sized aquatic birds belonging to the Anatidae family. Along with Geese and Swans, Ducks are also waterfowls, and hence, inhabit near freshwater habitats like rivers, ponds, lakes. They are omnivorous species feeding on small fishes, aquatic plants, and insects. 

The goose is a medium to large-sized aquatic bird belonging to the Anatidae family. Their long neck and the absence of non-iridescent colors makes them unique from the other waterfowls. Geese are usually herbivorous species feeding on grass. However, at times, they can also eat small insects and fish.   

Comparison Table Between Duck and Goose 

Parameters of Comparison   Duck   Goose  
Physical Appearance  Has a stout body with shorter legs. Has a longer neck, an elongated body, and long legs in comparison to that of a Duck. 
Food  Ducks are omnivorous species feeding on small fishes, insects, and aquatic plants. Goose is generally herbivorous and hence prefers feeding on small grass.  
Feathers   Ducks have bright plumage. Has white, grey, or black feathers, and usually lacks bright plumage. 
Species   There are around 90 species of Ducks in the world. There are around 29 species of Geese in the world, which is much smaller compared to Ducks. 
Communication Ducks make their significant ‘Quack’ sound to communicate with each other. Geese don’t ‘Quack’ and communicate with each other by usually making a ‘honking’ sound. 
Babies  Baby Ducks are known as ‘Ducklings’.   Baby Geese are known as ‘Goslings’.  
Migration  Ducks do not migrate. Geese are migratory birds. 

What is a Duck? 

Ducks are small to medium-sized aquatic birds belonging to the Anatidae family. Ducks, along with Geese and Swans are waterfowls, and are hence, found inhabiting near water bodies like lakes. Ducks have a stout body with short legs and webbed feet and have shorter notched bills, and low-positioned nostrils. Ducks are bright-feathered birds having orange, green, yellow color feathers.  

There are around 90 species of Ducks in the world and are found in almost every part of the world, except for Antarctica which is too cold for them to survive. However, ducks are non-migratory birds and are usually found in a specific area.  

Because of the quiet and calm nature of the Ducks, they often take long hours to react to unfavorable surrounding noises or unwanted company. Ducks are often farmed for their meat, feathers, and eggs. They have a unique filtering system in their mouth which they use to filter water out of their beaks, without losing any food.   

Ducks are omnivorous species and prefer feeding on small fish, insects, and aquatic plants. They have a small breeding period, and are monogamous, meaning they mate with one partner during the mating season. Their lifespan ranges approximately between 7-10 years, and their predators include crocodiles, foxes, wolves, and humans. 

What is a Goose? 

A Goose is a medium to large-sized aquatic bird belonging to the family Anatidae. Their long neck and the absence of non-iridescent color makes them unique from the other waterfowls. Geese are generally larger than Ducks and have long legs with more prominent webbed feet than Ducks. Geese lack bright plumage and have generally grey or white-colored feathers.   

There are around 29 species of Geese around the world, generally found in Asia, North America, and Europe. They are migratory birds having extremely strong wings which they use to cover long distances while migrating to the warmer areas. They have an average lifespan of 10-15 years.  

Geese are not calm and quiet birds like Ducks. They tend to flap their wings and make hissing noises to intimidate any unwanted company. Besides being farmed for their meat, eggs, and down feathers, Geese are frequently used in eliminating weed from the fields. Their predators mostly include wolves, eagles, and foxes.   

Geese are herbivorous species and prefer feeding on small grass. However, some of them can also eat small insects and fish. They have long breeding periods but lay only around 10-12 eggs during that period. Although Geese are monogamous, they form bonds that can last for a lifetime. 

Main Difference Between Ducks and a Goose 

  1. Ducks are small-sized aquatic birds with stout bodies and short legs, whereas Geese are medium to large-sized aquatic birds with elongated bodies and longer legs.  
  2. Ducks are bright-feathered birds with orange, yellow, black feathers, whereas Geese lack bright plumage and mostly have grey or white feathers. Geese are also often covered with different spots.  
  3. Ducks communicate with each other by making a significant ‘Quack’ sound. Geese, on the other hand, communicate with each other by making a loud ‘honking’ sound.  
  4. Ducks have lesser neck bones than Geese, whereas Geese are known for their long necks.  
  5. Ducks are omnivores and prefer feeding on small fishes, insects, and aquatic plants. Geese, on the other hand, are herbivores and prefer feeding on small grass.  
  6. Ducks are non-migratory birds, whereas Goose is a migratory bird.  
  7. Duck babies are known as ‘Ducklings’, whereas Geese babies are known as ‘Goslings’.   

Conclusion 

A Goose and Duck might belong to the same family of Anatidae and have some common morphological features, yet they differ from each other in a lot of aspects. These are both aquatic birds but are significantly different from each other.  

A Duck is a bright-feathered bird with a stout body and short legs. These aquatic birds are quiet and calm. They have a short breeding period but can lay up to 60-100 eggs during that period. Ducks are non-migratory birds usually found in a significant area.  

A Goose, on the other hand, lacks bright plumage and usually has grey or white-colored feathers. They have long necks, elongated bodies, and long legs. They have long breeding periods but can lay only up to 10-12 eggs during that period. Geese are not as quiet and calm as Ducks and make hissing noises to intimidate any unwanted company. Geese are migratory birds. 

The most significant distinction between the two species is their way of communication. Ducks make their significant ‘Quack’ noise to communicate with each other, whereas Geese make loud ‘honking’ sounds to communicate.   

References 

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1095643301005177 
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0889157506001499 
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