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Hunters urged to brush up on waterfowl identification

AKRON – As Ohio’s duck and goose seasons begin, hunters are encouraged to familiarize themselves with waterfowl identification before heading out, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). Ohio waterfowl hunters frequently encounter a variety of species of birds when in the field and marsh, and some species of ducks, geese and swans may look similar.

The ODNR Division of Wildlife would like to remind hunters that it is important to identify birds before pulling the trigger. Some species, like the state-threatened trumpeter swans and occasionally migrating tundra swans, are protected and may be encountered.

Although waterfowl hunters in northeast Ohio rarely encounter snow geese, hunters should still be able to distinguish between swans and snow geese. With proper species identification and attention, there should be little confusion between the species.

Swans versus geese:

Trumpeter swan (threatened and protected species)

Mature birds: pure-white plumage (sometime stained heads)/young birds: more gray

Long necks relative to the body size

Length: 4-5 feet, wingspan: 7 feet, weight: 17-28 lbs.

Tundra swan (protected species)

Mature birds: pure- white plumage/young birds: more gray

Long necks relative to the body size

Length: 4.5 feet, wingspan: 5.5 feet, weight: 8-23 lbs.

Canada goose (legal game species)

Black-necked plumage with chin strap, black head, tan breast, brown back, long necks

Length: 2.5-3.5 feet, wingspan: 4-5.5 feet, weight: 6.5-20 lbs.

Snow goose (legal game species)

White with black wing tips, short necks relative to the body size

Length: 2.5 feet, wingspan: 4.5 feet, weight 3.5-7 lbs.

For more information about waterfowl hunting in Ohio visit <http://www.wil-

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