Facts About Ducks

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Duck With Ducklings

01

Ducks belong to the bird family Anatidae.

Jenny Wren
Jenny Wren

02

Species of ducks are found on all continents except Antarctica.

Bearded Tit
Bearded Tit

03

Ducks are precocial which means they are relatively mature from the moment of birth. They are covered in down and are able to walk and leave the nest soon after hatching.

Whooping Cranes
Whooping Cranes

04

Ducks do not mate for life but they most species are monogamous for a breeding season.

Baker's Yuhina
Image credit: Francesco Veronesi

05

Very few ducks actually quack. In fact most male ducks are silent and those who do call make sounds like squeaks, grunts, chirps, growls and whistles. And of course a duck’s quack does echo.

Peregrine Falcon
Peregrine Falcon

06

There are a number of terms for a group of ducks including a plump, a paddling, a sord, a raft and a twack.

Northern Cardinal
Northern Cardinal

07

A baby duck is called a duckling, an adult male is a drake and an adult female may be called a hen or a duck.

Red-Billed Streamertail
Red-Billed Streamertail

08

A duck’s feathers are waterproof due to an intricate structure and waxy coating that is spread on each feather during preening. When a duck dives underwater the waterproof top feathers will keep the layer of downy feathers closest to the body completely dry.

House Sparrow
House Sparrow

09

After breeding season a duck will moult out all their flight feathers so for about a month they can’t fly and are vulnerable to predators. The bright feathers are replaced by brown ones and this is why in summer it appears that all drakes have disappeared.

Herring Gull

10

A duck’s quack does echo. 

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