Ducks are aquatic birds of the family Anatidae characterized by broad, flat bills and specialized webbed feet for swimming. These water birds are smaller, and they have shorter necks in comparison to their relatives (geese and swans). Because of their similar forms, ducks are also confused with unrelated birds like loons, gallinules, coots, and grebes.
List of Common Types of Duck Species
the hundreds of domestic duck breeds that are specifically developed for eggs,
meat, or their exotic appearance, ornithologists and birders have officially
recognized over 120 wild duck species that are mentioned in the list below:
Ducks can be
identified based on these physical characteristics:
Size: Their size varies, ranging from the
smallest Eurasian teal measuring 20-30 cm (7.9-11.8 in) to the largest common
eider having a length of 50-71 cm (20-28 in).
Weight: The average weight of ducks ranges
between 320-340 g (11-12 oz) and 1.92-2.21 kg (4.2-4.9 lb).
Body: Ducks usually have an elongated and
broad body, although the diving ducks have a more rounded shape.
Bill: They have broad, flat bills
comprising comb-like serrated structures on the edges.
Legs: Their legs are scaled and well-developed,
set far back on their bodies.
Wings: These aquatic birds are
characterized by short, pointed, and extremely powerful wings.
found all across the world. Its range includes sub-Antarctic islands such as
the Auckland Islands and South Georgia. Different duck species live on oceanic
islands like Kerguelen, New Zealand, and Hawaii.
What kind of Habitats do Ducks live in
live in marshes, wetlands, ponds, lakes, rivers, and oceans, where they seek
out a safe natural environment with good food supply, especially during molting.
How long do they live
for about 2-12 years, depending on the type of species. The mallard, for
example, has an average lifespan of about 5-10 years in the wild.
What do they eat
omnivorous water birds, and they feed on a wide range of food sources including
aquatic plants, grasses, insects, fish, worms, small mollusks, and amphibians.
Few species, like the mergansers, are adapted to capture and eat large fish.
ducks take their food on land or the surface of the water, or by reaching as
deep as they can without completely submerging. Sea ducks and diving ducks, on
the other hand, feed by diving deep underwater.
keep themselves clean, ducks often preen themselves by pushing their heads and putting
their bills into the body.
make different types of calls, including cooing, whistling, grunting, and
yodeling. Scaup, for example, makes a call that sounds like ‘scaup’ whereas the
mallard makes the typical ‘quack’ sound and another rough noise called the
duck species, including the mallard, migrate during the winter months to somewhere
possess an oily coating that keeps water from settling in their feathers,
helping them in staying dry and keeping themselves warm.
webbed feet, designed like paddles, provide more surface area to push against
the water and help them swim.
comb-like structure, called pecten, present along the edge of their beak is
adapted to hold slippery food and to preen feathers.
have specialized flat beak suitable for searching insect larvae and pulling
small mollusks, worms, and waterweed out of the mud.
How do they Reproduce and Mate
monogamous, meaning they form pairs with one partner at a time and the
partnership lasts for one year. Larger and sedentary species like the torrent
duck, however, stay in pairs for many years.
mate once a year, usually in spring, summer, or rainy seasons. Before breeding,
the female builds a nest, and, after her eggs hatch, she leads her ducklings to
water. The eggs usually hatch about 28-35 days after the beginning of
takes care of her baby ducks, but she may abandon some of her ducklings if they
have sickness and are not prospering.
What do the Baby Ducks look like
hatch from eggs with their eyes open and have a warm layer of thin and delicate
feathers. The ducklings are not entirely dependent on their mother for food and
can leave their nest within a few hours of hatching.
Species Survival Commission has a duck specialist group that works on
monitoring, conservation, research, and management of duck populations in the
1. Can ducks fly?
ducks can fly. For example, three steamer duck species are flightless. They run
across water and thrash their wings like the paddle wheels of a steamboat.
2. Do ducks have teeth?
Ducks do not
have teeth, but their bills have serrated edges (called pecten) that look like
3. What do baby ducks eat?
feed on seagrass, weeds, and waterside plants.