Anseriformes is a large group of aquatic birds (living on or near water) which are known,
as a group, as Waterfowl. Of this order there is one family of Swans, one family of Geese, and
five families of Ducks living in North America. Their name comes from the Latin word
anser which means "goose".
These birds have webbed toes, long necks, narrow pointed wings, and most have short legs.
Their beaks are flat with a row of serrations (little points like a saw) which they use to strain food
out of water. Ducks, Geese, and Swans have thick down (very light fluffy feathers) under their
outer feathers. Many pull out the down and use it as part of their nest. It's their insulation against
cold weather, so they don't need it when they're nesting in summer.
When they hatch, the chicks of this order of birds are covered only with fluffy down until they
grow adult feathers. The chicks can usually run around and swim as soon as they dry out after
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