What is a duck?
A duck is a small swimming bird with a short neck and legs. They have webbed feet to help them swim and broad and flat bills, which they use to feed. They can live in freshwater or seawater, and their feathers are waterproof!
Male and female ducks often have very different appearances. The males, called drakes, often have extravagant and colorful feathers to attract a mate. Female duck feathers tend to be plainer to blend in with their surroundings and protect their nest and babies.
When they’re born, baby ducks – ducklings – typically have brown and yellow feathers.
Ducks are related to geese and swans, but they are a smaller species.
What do ducks eat?
Ducks are omnivores, which means they eat various things, including plants and other animals.
They usually eat fish eggs, aquatic plants, small fish, worms, and insects in the wild.
Bread isn’t the best option if you want to feed your local ducks. Instead, please provide them with duck pellets, oats, frozen peas, lettuce, or seeds!
Duck Habitats: Where do ducks live?
Ducks prefer to live near water, which is why they also have the name ‘waterfowl.’ They are normally found near rivers, ponds, lakes, oceans, marshes, and open water. Duck habitats are varied because these birds live almost everywhere in the world – except for Antarctica, where the temperatures are much too cold for them!
When the weather turns cold in the winter, some duck species will migrate (travel) long distances to find a warm place to breed and nest. However, if the environment is too cold, the water will freeze, which makes it difficult for ducks to nest and raise their babies. Therefore, it’s a must to find a safe n. They’ll prefer to nest near water and cover their nests in vegetation or even a natural hole in a tree! As long as there’s water near and a variety of food, a duck will nest!
In the UK, duck nests have been found in many places! Females will look for a new habitat or place to live, covered in vegetation and plants to protect and hide their ducklings. Males will look for a place where there is lots of food. Nests have been found in the following:
- Rooftop gardens
- Piles of wood
- Old crow’s nests
- Under shrubs and bushes
If a duck habitat (usually with a pond) is located in a town, or popular area, such as a park, with a reliable food source, many ducks will nest close by. This can cause competition between the ducks, so they may nest away from the pond to avoid harassment! This may even cause ducks to migrate or travel long distances yearly to breed! DuckTherefore, ducats are varied to ens
Ducks can also not fly for a time when they are molting! This means that they shed their feathers and grow more. During this time, the duck will want to look for a protected habitat or place to live with a good food supply. Ducks often molt before migration (traveling) to find a new habitat.
Types of Ducks
There are lots of different species of duck, but here are just a few:
Mallard – The most common duck in the UK is the mallard duck. The males have green-colored heads with yellow bills, while the females have brown coloring all over. They are found worldwide, including in the Americas, North Africa, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia.
Muscovy – The Muscovy duck has a striking red face with black and white feathers. They are native to Mexico and Central and South America.
Domestic – Most domestic ducks descend from the mallard duck, but some are descended from the Muscovy duck. They are raised as pets or for their eggs and down.
Facts about Ducks for Kids
- When ducks clean themselves, it is called ‘preening.’ They put their heads into funny positions and use their bills to clean between their feathers
- Most duck eggs hatch within 28 days
- Ducklings can fly within 5-8 weeks of hatching
- Ducks waddle because of their webbed feet!
- They cannot feel cold in their feet because their feet have no nerves or blood vessels
- There are different types of ducks – diving ducks, sea ducks, and dabbling ducks
- They are outgoing and social animals that like to be in groups
- They can live up to 20 years old if they are well cared for
- They lay more eggs when there is more daylight
- Ducks have three eyelids and can see in color