Ducks are waterfowl belonging to the family Anatidae, which also includes swans and geese. 

Physical Characteristics: Ducks have a distinctive body shape with a broad, rounded bill, relatively short neck, and webbed feet adapted for swimming. They vary greatly in size, with some species as small as a few ounces and others as large as several pounds. Ducks come in a wide range of colours and patterns, from drab browns and greys to vibrant blues, greens, and iridescent hues.

Habitat: Ducks are found on every continent except Antarctica and are adaptable to a variety of aquatic habitats, including lakes, rivers, ponds, marshes, and coastal estuaries. They prefer areas with ample vegetation for cover and nesting, as well as access to food sources such as aquatic plants, insects, and small fish.

Diet: Ducks are omnivorous, feeding on a diverse array of foods depending on their species and habitat. They primarily consume plant matter such as seeds, aquatic vegetation, and grains, but also eat insects, crustaceans, molluscs, and small fish. Ducks may feed by dabbling on the water’s surface, diving underwater, or grazing on land.

Behaviour: Ducks are social animals and often congregate in large flocks, particularly during migration and wintering periods. They communicate through a variety of vocalizations, including quacks, whistles, and honks, as well as body language such as head bobbing and tail wagging. Ducks are strong flyers and migrate long distances to breeding and wintering grounds.

Reproduction: Ducks typically breed during the spring and summer months, with males engaging in elaborate courtship displays to attract mates. Females build nests on the ground or in vegetation near water, lining them with down feathers for insulation. They lay clutches of eggs, ranging from a few to over a dozen depending on the species, and incubate them for several weeks until they hatch. Ducklings are precocial and can walk, swim, and feed themselves shortly after hatching.

Conservation Status: Many species of ducks are abundant and widespread, but some face threats from habitat loss, pollution, hunting, and climate change. Conservation efforts focus on protecting critical habitats, managing hunting regulations, and monitoring populations to ensure their long-term survival.

Overall, ducks are charismatic and beloved birds with a diverse range of adaptations and behaviours. Whether gliding gracefully across the water or waddling on land, they are a familiar and welcome sight in many natural environments around the world.

Duck Gallery


Location - Zoo
Threat Status - Least Concerned

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