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There are at least thirty-six types of ducks that are native or have been introduced and settled in North America. Some of these birds remain in local states and do not migrate, although they do slowly expand into adjacent regions. While other ducks fly into the northern regions of Canada and Alaska every Spring to nest and then return to the southern States and into Mexico every winter.

Among these different types, the birds can be grouped again into puddle, aka "dabbling" and diving ducks. The dabblers mostly feed in smaller bodies of shallow water or along shorelines, where they are able to tip their bodies forward to reach their food on the bottom. There are divers who feed in deeper water where they dive and pursue their quarry. Some of these birds, the Harlequin Duck for example, actually dives to the bottom of fast-flowing waters and feeds on life forms attached to rocks.

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