Duck and Goose are nothing but waterbirds belonging to the same family of Anatidae. They are found inhabiting freshwater habitats like rivers, ponds, lakes, and oceanic islands.
Though both birds belong to the same family of Anatidae and have some common morphological features, they differ from each other in a lot of aspects.
- Ducks have a smaller body size; geese are larger and heavier.
- Ducks have a more diverse diet, including aquatic plants and insects; geese primarily graze on grass.
- Ducks have a distinct waddle when walking; geese exhibit a more upright posture and stride.
Duck vs Goose
A duck is a waterbird that has 16 or fewer bones in its neck. It has short legs, webbed feet, a waddling gait, and more colorful features. A goose is a larger waterbird with a longer neck. It has between 17 and 24 neck bones, short legs, webbed feet, and a short, broad bill.
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, and 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 herbivorous species feeding on grass. However, at times, they can also eat small insects and fish.
|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 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 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 stout bodies with short legs and webbed feet and have shorter notched bills and low-positioned nostrils. Ducks are bright-feathered birds having orange, green, and yellow color feathers.
There are around 90 species of Ducks in the world and they 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 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 generally have 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 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
- 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.
- Ducks are bright-feathered birds with orange, yellow, and black feathers, whereas Geese lack bright plumage and mostly have grey or white feathers. Geese are also often covered with different spots.
- 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.
- Ducks have lesser neck bones than Geese, whereas Geese are known for their long necks.
- 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.
- Ducks are non-migratory birds, whereas Goose is a migratory bird.
- Duck babies are known as ‘Ducklings,’ whereas Geese babies are known as ‘Goslings.’
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Piyush Yadav has spent the past 25 years working as a physicist in the local community. He is a physicist passionate about making science more accessible to our readers. He holds a BSc in Natural Sciences and Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Science. You can read more about him on his bio page.