Because of the need to manage hunted populations of waterfowl (Anatidae), biologists have studied many demographic traits of waterfowl by analyzing band recoveries. These analyses have produced the most extensive and best estimates of survival available for any group of birds. Using these data, we examined several factors that might explain variation among annual survival rates to explore large-scale patterns that might be useful in understanding waterfowl population dynamics. We found that geography, body mass, and tribe (i.e. phylogeny) were important in explaining variation in average waterfowl survival rates.