Muscovy duck behavior

Despite their large flocks, Muscovy ducks are typically very silent. In fact, these birds only use vocalization for specific events. Mothers and ducklings converse using low frequency calls, whereas partners interact with hissing noises. Communication during mating is usually followed by a series of other sounds, including bill clapping and tail wagging.

However, these noises are rarely the cause of homeowners' complaints when it comes to these temperamental birds. Muscovy duck behavior can quickly turn violent as flocks compete for space and resources. Being territorial in nature, they often become aggressive towards people and pets as well.

When a perceived threat approaches the group, the ducks freeze and call out in alarm. Muscovy duck attacks are not uncommon, nor as benign as they might sound. The ducks will use their wings, claws, and beaks to deter intruders, and the commotion caused by a whole flock of angry, protective ducks can be quite disorienting and frightening. If mean and aggressive Muscovy ducks are making it impossible to enjoy the backyard, contact the pest professionals at Critter Control.

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Muscovy Duck Behavior Despite their large flocks, Muscovy ducks are typically very silent. Do Muscovy Ducks Attack? Critter Control Logo. Navigate to homepage. Franchise Opportunities Careers. All rights reserved.Muscovy ducks are native to South America, and they are the only breed of duck kept in captivity today not descended from the wild Mallard.

Owners of Muscovy ducks enjoy them for several reasons: they are quiet, they have interesting plumage and drakes have a larger amount of meat than other ducks, according to an article in "Backyard Poultry.

When this happens, it's important to address the problem immediately. Otherwise, an aggressive duck can cause bruises and injury to people and other ducks.

Are Muscovy Ducks Mean, Aggressive, Loud?

Separate the duck from other ducks if it is displaying aggression towards them. Provide it with a spacious, fenced-in area of its own. Muscovy ducks are very sociable, so be sure to pay attention to the drake. Work on training if humans are the target of your Muscovy duck's aggression. The site "Live Ducks" recommends holding an aggressive duck's beak shut while firmly saying, "No".

Spend time every day in close contact with your duck, petting it, feeding it from your hand and talking to it. It will take some ducks longer than others to realize that you are not a threat. Provide a mate for your duck. Sometimes, aggression is due to suppressed sexual urges.

Ducks are ready to mate at 5 or 6 months of age.

muscovy duck behavior

Discourage aggression at the first sign of it. Though it might be cute to see a baby duck attacking people and things, aggression will only get worse as a duck gets older and larger.

Field Guide to Birds of North America

A male Muscovy duck can weigh up to 12 pounds, which is enough to knock over other animals and children. Home Learn Behavior. Share on Facebook. Step 1 Separate the duck from other ducks if it is displaying aggression towards them. Step 2 Work on training if humans are the target of your Muscovy duck's aggression. Step 3 Spend time every day in close contact with your duck, petting it, feeding it from your hand and talking to it.

Step 4 Provide a mate for your duck. Step 5 Discourage aggression at the first sign of it. Show Comments.Muscovy Ducks are a wild tropical duck species native to Mexico as well as Central and South Americas. They were domesticated by the natives in these areas a long time ago.

The ducks later established themselves in various parts of North America including the United States. They are often bred as domestic ducks in different regions of their distribution range. Muscovy Duck. They have an interesting appearance with certain characteristic features differentiating the male and the female ducks. Size: Domesticated Muscovy drakes grow around 34 inches 86 cm in length while domesticated females grow no more than 25 inches 64 cm in length. The wild Muscovy, which is the predecessor of the domesticated species, is usually 26 inches to 33 inches 66 cm to 84 cm long.

Weight: The males generally weigh somewhere between 10 lbs and 15 lbs 4. The hens are much lighter with their average weight ranging from 6 lbs to 7. Wild ducks can weight anywhere from 2. Wingspan: The wingspan of the wild species ranges between 54 inches and 64 inches cm and cm. Color: The wild Muscovy species is blackish in color with distinct white patches on the wing. The face is dark red or blackish with yellowish brown eyes and a black bill marked with pale pink spots.

The legs and feet are black in color. The juvenile bird has a duller coloration with or without the white markings on the wings. The domesticated breeds often vary in coloration from one another. Most are black and white or dark brown in color, especially around the head and neck.

Other colors including pale white and lavender are also found. Both the male and the female have red or red-black face. Head: The wild drakes have a short crest on their napes. The domestic males have a dark red or blackish knob at the base of their bills while the females have feathered face. The prominent knob on the head is absent in females which is one of the main differences between males and females. Their distribution range extends from the western parts of Andes to Ecuador in south and the eastern Andes to the northern parts of Argentina and Uruguay.

The feral populations have also established in some European countries as well as New Zealand. Muscovy ducks prefer watery habitats with dense vegetation and large trees, like rivers, brackish coastal wetlands, ponds and wooded swamps. Escaped domestic birds are often seen in various parks across America. Most populations are non-migratory or irregular migrants without any established migration patterns.

The birds may migrate to avoid dry weathers with fluctuating water conditions. The diet of these omnivorous birds includes small fishes, crustaceans, termites, millipedes and even small reptiles.

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They also eat various plant materials like tree roots, leaves, stem as well as terrestrial and aquatic plant seeds including agricultural crops. Domestic ducks are often preyed on by various carnivorous mammals like dogs, foxes, raccoons, opossums, minks and skunks. Other predators include various birds of prey such as herons and owls as well as large reptiles. Mating begins in early August and continues through May with the exact breeding season varying depending on the range and population.

They become sexually mature at one year of age. Unlike many other duck species, the drakes do not take part in any dancing rituals to impress the hens. They often fight with each other to earn the right to mate with a female. Mating can take place either on land or in water.

This species can breed up to 3 times each year.Muscovy Duck: Large, usually domesticated duck; wild birds are all dark with white wing patch that is visible in flight; domesticated birds occur in any combination of white and black to iridescent black. Head is slightly crested; face is bare, may be black or red or a combination of the two, and has a pronounced wart-like caruncle at the base of the bill.

Female is much smaller and duller; juvenile lacks caruncle. Muscovy Duck: Prefers forest habitats near water; it roosts in trees at night and nests in tree cavities. Wild birds are restricted to the lower Rio Grande valley. Within North America, there are large feral populations in southern Florida and Texas. Muscovy Duck: Nest boxes or tree cavities are lined with little or no down, 9 to 60 feet above ground. Female incubates eight to ten white eggs, that have a green sheen, for 35 days.

Muscovy Duck: Feeds on vegatation by dabbling in ponds, lakes and, rivers. Eats insects and seeds found in grain fields. Muscovy Duck: Unlikely to be confused with any other species in its range.

Field Guide to Birds of North America. Species Overview. Muscovy Duck. Cairina moschata. Family Ducks, Geese and Swans Anatidae. Code 4 MUDU. General Muscovy Duck: Large, usually domesticated duck; wild birds are all dark with white wing patch that is visible in flight; domesticated birds occur in any combination of white and black to iridescent black. Range and Habitat Muscovy Duck: Prefers forest habitats near water; it roosts in trees at night and nests in tree cavities.

Breeding and Nesting Muscovy Duck: Nest boxes or tree cavities are lined with little or no down, 9 to 60 feet above ground. Foraging and Feeding Muscovy Duck: Feeds on vegatation by dabbling in ponds, lakes and, rivers. Vocalization Muscovy Duck: Mostly silent. Male hisses, female may "quack" or utter a gutteral "croak. Mitch Waite Group. No part of this web site may be reproduced without written permission from Mitch Waite Group. Privacy Policy.

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The Percevia field guides, database and search protocol patent pending. The best bird guide and bird watching search engine to identify birds! Face X. The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.

Parts of a Standing bird X. Head Feathers and Markings X.

Muscovy duck

Parts of a Flying bird X.Unlock thousands of full-length species accounts and hundreds of bird family overviews when you subscribe to Birds of the World. Each species account is written by leading ornithologists and provides detailed information on bird distribution, migration, habitat, diet, sounds, behavior, breeding, current population status, and conservation.

An extensive multimedia section displays the latest photos, videos and audio selections from the Macaulay Library. Browse free accounts on the home page. Skip to content. Explore Taxonomy. Previous Spectacled Duck.

How to Control the Aggression in a Muscovy Duck

Next Green Pygmy-Goose. Species names in all available languages. Jack C. Eitniear, R. Bribiesca-Formisano, Claudia I. Sign in to see your badges. Account navigation Account navigation Introduction. Revision History. Originally Appeared in. Neotropical Birds logo. Subscribe Now For Access Unlock thousands of full-length species accounts and hundreds of bird family overviews when you subscribe to Birds of the World.

Every bird has a story. Discover them all with Birds of the World. Subscribe Now Already a subscriber? Sign in. Recommended Citation Eitniear, J. Bribiesca-Formisano, C. Arizmendi Muscovy Duck Cairina moschataversion 1. In Birds of the World T. Schulenberg, Editor. Show Details Hide Details.Muscovy ducksthough now common throughout the world as a domesticated species, originally lived in Central and South America.

These ducks are somewhat colorful, though their patterns and color vary from individual to individual. One of their most notable characteristics is their red, warty-looking face. In many males, the wart-like growths are bright red. Read on to learn about the Muscovy duck. These ducks are relatively large creatures, and the biggest males weigh up to 15 lbs. They measure between 26 and 33 in. Most Muscovy ducks have black feathers, often with large white blotches, and iridescent green wings.

Depending on the bird, they have few, or many, red or reddish gray wart-like growths on their face. Males have wartier faces than females, and are generally heavier. You often see these ducks in parks and gardens, both as domestic birds and feral birds. Despite being so common, most people do not know very much about them.

Like most waterfowl, Muscovy ducks like to live in lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, swamps, and other water bodies. They prefer slow moving water, which allows for easier foraging and swimming. These ducks also thrive in urban areas, like parks, golf courses, and retention ponds.

muscovy duck behavior

Because of this, many feral populations live across the United States, particularly Texas and Florida. In Mexico, these birds live primarily near the coast, both on the eastern and western sides. The same goes for Central America. Outside of their natural range, these ducks inhabit parks and gardens in the United States, and the United Kingdom. Like most ducks, this species feeds on a mixture of plants and small animals.

Some of the plants they eat include grass, seeds, roots, and aquatic vegetation. They also hunt for small insects, spidersshrimp, worms, snails, fish, and lizards. Birds in urban areas like parks and golf courses also eat a variety of other foods, usually things humans leave behind or intentionally feed them.

Sadly, humans feeding ducks of any kind in parks is incredibly detrimental to the birds.Small wild and feral breeding populations have established themselves in the United Statesparticularly in FloridaLouisianaMassachusettsand the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas as well as in many other parts of North America, including southern Canada.

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The bird is predominantly black and white, with the back feathers being iridescent and glossy in males, while the females are more drab. The amount of white on the neck and head is variable, as well as the bill, which can be yellow, pink, black, or any mixture of these.

They may have white patches or bars on the wings, which become more noticeable during flight. Both sexes have pink or red wattles around the bill, those of the male being larger and more brightly colored.

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The domestic breed, Cairina moschata domesticais commonly known in Spanish as the pato criollo. They have been bred since pre-Columbian times by Native Americans and are heavier and less able to fly long distances than the wild subspecies.

Their plumage color is also more variable. Other names for the domestic breed in Spanish are pato casero "backyard duck" and pato mudo "mute duck". All Muscovy ducks have long claws on their feet and a wide flat tail. The true wild Muscovy duck, from which all domesticated Muscovies originated, is blackish, with large white wing patches.

On the head, the wild male has short crest on the nape. The bill is black with a speckling of pale pink. A blackish or dark red knob can be seen at the bill base, and the bare skin of the face is similar to that in color.

The eyes are yellowish-brown. The legs and webbed feet are blackish. The wild female is similar in plumage, but is also much smaller, and she has feathered face and lacks the prominent knob. The juvenile is duller overall, with little or no white on the upperwing.

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Both sexes have a nude black-and-red or all-red face; the drake also has pronounced caruncles at the base of the bill and a low erectile crest of feathers. For a while after hatching, juveniles lack the distinctive wattles associated with adult individuals, and resemble the offspring of various other ducks such as mallards.

Some domesticated ducklings have a dark head and blue eyes, others a light brown crown and dark markings on their nape.

muscovy duck behavior

They are agile and speedy precocial birds. The two largest macrochromosome pairs are submetacentricwhile all other chromosomes are acrocentric or for the smallest microchromosomes probably telocentric. The submetacentric chromosomes and the Z female chromosome show rather little constitutive heterochromatin C bandswhile the W chromosomes are at least two-thirds heterochromatin. Females have cloacas that coil in the opposite direction that appear to have evolved to limit forced copulation by males.

Taking Care of Muscovy Ducks - Farm Raised With P. Allen Smith

It is not quite clear how the term came about; it very likely originated between andbut did not become widespread until somewhat later. In one suggestion, it has been claimed that the Company of Merchant Adventurers to New Lands traded these ducks to Europe occasionally after ; [10] this chartered company became eventually known as the " Muscovy Company " or "Muscovite Company" so the ducks might thus have come to be called "Muscovite ducks" or "Muscovy ducks" in keeping with the common practice of attaching the importer's name to the products they sold.

Alternatively—just as in the " turkey " which is also from America, not Turkeyor the " guineafowl " which are not limited to Guinea —"Muscovy" might be simply a generic term for an exotic place, in reference to the singular appearance of these birds.

This is evidenced by other names suggesting the species came from lands where it is not actually native, but from where much "outlandish" produce was imported at that time see below. Yet another view—not incompatible with either of those discussed above—connects the species with the Muiscaa Native American nation in today's Colombia. The duck is native to these lands too, and it is likely that it was kept by the Muisca as a domestic animal to some extent.

It is conceivable that a term like "Muisca duck", hard to comprehend for the average European of those times, would be corrupted into something more familiar.

Likewise, the Miskito Indians of the Miskito Coast in Nicaragua and Honduras heavily relied on it as a domestic species, and the ducks as well may have been named after this region.

Conrad Gessner is given by Linnaeus as a source, but the Historiae animalium mentions the Muscovy duck only in passing. But his anas indica based, like Gessner's brief discussion, ultimately on the reports of Christopher Columbus 's travels also seems to have included another species[14] perhaps a whistling-duck Dendrocygna. Already however the species is tied to some more or less nondescript "exotic" locality — "Libya" could still refer to any place in Northern Africa at that time — where it did not natively occur.


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