/waw"teuhr fowl', wot"euhr-/, n., pl. waterfowls, (esp. collectively) waterfowl.
1. a water bird, esp. a swimming bird.
2. such birds taken collectively, esp. the swans, geese, and ducks.
[1250-1300; ME; c. G Wasservogel; see WATER, FOWL]

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Any member of the family Anatidae, web-footed birds with a broad bill containing fine plates, or lamellae; usually stocky and often long-necked, including ducks, geese (see goose), and swans.

Waterfowl feed by dabbling, diving, or grazing. Most species are social and have an array of formal displays and group cohesion signals. Almost all breed in water. The female usually selects the nest site, builds the nest from any vegetation within reach, and incubates the 3–12 eggs. Shortly after hatching, the young imprint on their mother (see imprinting). Many species are migratory.

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 in the United States, all varieties of ducks, geese, and swans; the term is sometimes expanded to include some unrelated aquatic birds such as coots, grebes (see photograph—>), and loons. In Britain the term refers only to domesticated swans, geese, and ducks kept for ornamental purposes, wildfowl being the term used for wild birds of this group, especially in the context of shooting for sport. See also duck; goose; swan.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Waterfowl — are certain wildfowl of the order Anseriformes, especially members of the family Anatidae, which includes ducks, geese, and swans.They are strong swimmers with medium to large bodies. They have historically been an important food source, and… …   Wikipedia

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  • waterfowl — c.1300, from WATER (Cf. water) (n.1) + FOWL (Cf. fowl). Cf. O.H.G. wazzarvogel, Du. watervogel …   Etymology dictionary

  • waterfowl — ► PLURAL NOUN ▪ ducks, geese, or other large aquatic birds …   English terms dictionary

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  • waterfowl — [[t]wɔ͟ːtə(r)faʊl[/t]] N COUNT (waterfowl is both the singular and the plural form.) Waterfowl are birds that swim in water, especially ducks, geese, and swans …   English dictionary

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  • waterfowl — /ˈwɔtəfaʊl/ (say wawtuhfowl) noun (plural waterfowls, waterfowl) a waterbird, especially a swimming bird …  

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