Ducks come from the swan and geese family except that they have shorter necks. You are mostly likely to see them around water, let that be fresh or sea-water. They are wonderful creatures with hidden capabilities. So, let’s get to know them a bit better.
Here are some facts about ducks.
1. Crossbreeding in the woods
The first position for hybriding goes to mallards who tend to crossbreed with 40 kinds of waterfowl species. And followed by them are the wood ducks that crossbreed with 20 kinds of other species.
2. Fly far distance
Studies show that the whistling ducks are spotted in Mexico and parts of southern Africa along with southern US too. There are chances that the African population was moved to North America using strong wings.
3. Extinct species
Since 1895 the labrador duck has been found to be extinct from North America waterfowl species.
The fastest air speed recorded by the red breasted merganser is 100mph.
5. Fly high
They are capable of flying uptil 21,000 feet and are seen migrating at an altitude of 200 to 4,000 feet.
6. Live long
The 29 year old canvasback is the oldest duck to be taken by a hunter.
7. Large eggs
The ruddy ducks lay eggs that weigh more than the hen and the eggs are comparatively larger to their body size.
8. Deep divers
They all are capable of diving but some are better than the others. 240 feet is the biggest dive recorded by the oldsquaw also known as the long tailed duck.
This is when the female lays eggs in the nest of other females who belong to the same species, waterfowl and other ducks follow nest parasitism.
There are about 12,000 separate muscles to control their feathers. These muscles help them to show emotions, regulate body heat, and dive underwater.
11. Favourite colour
It’s found out that the ducks might have a favorite colour in the green and blue shade.
12. Swim in cold
They can swim in the cold as the blood vessels in their feet are close together, forbidding heat loss.
13. Purposeful duck bill
It varies depending on its function. The flat bill are used for plant material and the pointed bills are used to catch fishes and eat them.
The duckbills are very sensitive and have many touch receptors, it’s a bit similar to our fingertips and palms.
15. Open eye open
This is generally during sleeping to ensure they are safe from predators.
16. Amazing eyes
Both their eyes work independently and the information is stored in the opposite sides of their brain.
17. Communicate before hatching
They hatchlings have the ability to communicate with each other in the eggs and they even try to hatch at the same time.
18. A period of non flying
The ducks shed off their flight feathers after the breeding season. Making them unable to fly for a full month. But after this mother nature enables them to fly at surprising speed.
19. Imitate companions
Ducks are quite social and therefore they must be kept with other ducks as they copy the personality of who they are with. For instance if a duck alone stays with a human it will start thinking that it is a human too and mimic the owner.
20. Built in Goggles
Like humans, ducks even have two regular eyelids that blink open and close. But they are gifted with a third eyelid located at the side. This enables them to keep their eyes open underwater without getting water in it. It acts like a Goggle to help them look for food in the water.
21. Popular Ducks
The famous Disney’s character Donald Duck which was introduced in 1934. Also Daffy Duck got great popularity in 1937. Even a lot of sports teams are associated with ducks. The children have the well known character the ugly duckling.
22. Travel to warmer places
The birds usually migrate from one place to another. The major reason for their migration is to avoid unfavorable climate conditions. The duck prefer moving to a warmer place leaving the chilly winters which couldn’t be survived by them.
23. Great family pets
The pet ducks are a great addition to the family and since they are social animals it’s good to have more than one with some water for them too. They need to be given proper protection from sun, snow and rain.
24. Never need a dentist
Just like other birds, ducks don’t have teeth. But they do have thin bristles in their mouth which is used to filter the nutrient particles from the water that they consume. While their beak is usually used for catching the food they also use it to restore first from their feathers.
25. Feet are suited to water
The web shaped feet don’t just help them swim but do a lot more. These have complex capillaries which help them in freezing water to regulate blood flow and keep them warm. These webbed feet make it a little difficult for them to walk on land.
26. Farmed for many reasons
The major purpose for duck farming is for their eggs or meat. Apart from this their feathers are also used for bedding and pillows. China has the world’s largest duck market.
27. Always on defense
In case of an emergency they can’t fly and that’s the reason why they are always vulnerable. So its common predators are lathe fishes, large birds especially heron. Hawks and foxes are their threats on land.
28. Not all Quack
It’s strange to know that not all ducks make the usual quacking sound. There are a wide range of sounds like cooing, yodels, whistles and even grunts. A scaup sound is made when they dive.
They mate with a single duck but the relationship is only for a year. Spring and summers are the periods for mating. Mother ducks are mostly protective but they tend to abandon the duckling which is sick or physically stuck.
30. Preening keeps them dry
Preeting is where the ducks groom themselves and clean the dirt and dust from their feathers which helps their outer layer waterproof.
31. Great vision
Since their eyes are placed sideways which gives them a whole 350 degree view. This gives them both near and far simultaneously.
32. Duckling grow quickly
The young ones become independent right after hatching. They learn to fly within two months.
33. Walk in group
Since they have a lot of predators it’s important for them to stay safe. For this they stick around their mothers while walking or swimming. If they survive for 10 days then their chances of living increases.
34. Spend 60% of their time eating
To achieve protein they eat insects. Since their rate of growth is so quick they have to keep consuming large amounts of food to grow its feathers and other body systems.
35. Noiser females
The female ducks have a different quack which are more active and loud than the males. This is one way to identify the male and female when they are too young to have distinctive coloring.
Ducks are loving pet animals to have around. People at times raise them alone or with other farm animals. These lists of facts will certainly give you way more reasons to look after these lovely ducks.