Duck vs. Goose

Duck vs. Goose

Duck and goose are types of waterfowl that belong to the family Anatidae. There are 29 species of goose and around 90 species of duck that can be found all over the world. Ducks and geese inhabit areas near the lakes and ponds and oceanic islands. All geese and some species of ducks are migratory (they travel to the south to overwinter in the warmer areas). Uncontrolled hunting, habitat destruction and pollution of the water and soil are the greatest threats for the survival of both types of birds. Despite some common morphological features (due to similar life style), geese and ducks differ in many aspects:


Geese are generally larger than ducks. They have longer neck, more elongated body and longer legs compared to ducks. Ducks are usually smaller. They have stout body with short legs. Feet of both geese and ducks are webbed (designed to facilitate swimming). Webbing on the feet of geese are more prominent than those on the feet of ducks.

Shape of Bill and Diet

Ducks have broad, flat bill with high-positioned nostrils. Ducks are omnivores. They use their broad bill to catch snails, crustaceans, fish, worms, amphibians and aquatic plants both in the water and on the solid ground. Geese have shorter, notched bill and low-positioned nostrils. Unlike ducks, geese are herbivores. Notched bill of geese is designed for grazing of grass and shrubs.


Both ducks and geese can be uniformly colored or covered with multicolored feathers. Most species of ducks are covered with orange, green, black or yellow feathers, while majority of geese are grey, black or white colored and often covered with different spots.


Ducks are best known by the quacking noise which females produce. Unlike them, geese communicate via honking sounds.

Mating Season

Both ducks and geese are monogamous birds (mate with one partner during the mating season). However, geese form couples that last for a lifetime, while pair of ducks lasts only one season. Mother duck is very devoted, unlike the father, which does not participate in the incubation of eggs and rearing of the chicks. Geese form strong family bonds and both parents take care of their chicks.


Domestic ducks and geese are excellent source of meat, eggs and down feathers, which are used for stuffing the pillows. Aside from that, geese are also frequently used to eliminate weed from the fields (instead of potentially harmful herbicides).

Cartoon and Stories

Ducks are often portrayed in cartoons. The best known cartoon ducks are Daffy Duck and Donald Duck. Geese are often mentioned in the stories, such as a story of goose that lays golden eggs.

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