Wildlife Facts: Ducks

You’ve probably seen a lot of ducks in parks, in water and flying in the air. Canada has an abundance of all types of ducks but the most common is probably the mallard. The male mallard, called a drake, is easily identified by its bright green head and yellow bill. The female hen is mottled brown and similar in size. These ducks are highly adaptable, which is why you see them in city parks, waterfronts and other urban areas.

Did you know?    A group of mallard ducks is called a sord when they are on the ground but when in flight they are called a flock.

Even though mallards have learned to live in urban areas, we have to remember that they are still wild animals and they need to be respected and left alone. This is especially true when they are sitting on their nests with their eggs or their ducklings. In the video below you’ll see just how adaptable these ducks are. This hen had her ducklings and continues to nest near a bathroom of a golf course. You can see six ducklings and several eggs that are still waiting to hatch. Her distinctive blue wing patch, which the drake and hen both have, is easily seen.

 

As wonderful as it is to see videos of animals up-close, this mother is hissing and flaring her tail feathers as a warning and because she is distressed at how close this human is to her ducklings. Please keep an appropriate distance away from any animal with babies, both for their sake and, sometimes, for yours (or your children’s).

This would be an excellent time to teach children to respect nature and wildlife by observing from a distance and keeping quiet.


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  • Ducks are birds, but more specifically, waterfowl because they spend so much time in the water.

  • Ducks can be found everywhere in world except for Antarctica because it is just too cold for them.

  • Ducks are related to geese and swans but they are the smallest out of the three.

  • Their webbed feet make them great swimmers but on land it makes them waddle instead of walk.

  • Mallards are considered to be the most abundant duck on Earth.

  • Ducks can’t feet don’t feel cold in icy waters because they have no nerves or blood vessels in them.

  • Almost all domestic ducks are descendents from either the mallard or the Muscovy duck.

  • Ducks are opportunistic omnivores. They will eat grass, aquatic plants, insects, seeds, fruit, fish, crustaceans and other types of food that are available.


 

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Designed by Karen Brazell. Produced by Kate Fulton.

Below are some ducks you might see in Canada (not including the Torrent which is a South American duck).

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Designed by Karen Brazell. Produced by Kate Fulton.

 

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