Duck feathers have evolved to be highly waterproof. Even when they dive underwater, their underlayer of downy feathers will remain dry.
All about the Duck
- All domesticated ducks, except the Muscovy duck, descend from the wild mallard Anas platyrhynchos.
- Ducks have rows of small bristles lining their mouth which allow them to filter water out of their beaks without losing their food. This filtering system is very similar to that of the blue whale.
- Despite the stereotype, not all ducks “quack”. It tends to be only the females that actually quack. All ducks do, however, have a range of communicative calls, including grunts, yodels and whistles.
- Ducks are perfectly adapted to water-life. Beyond their filtering system, their webbed feet are excellent for allowing them to move with ease in water as well as permitting them to easily walk on slippery river banks.
- Ducks use their beaks for feeding and for grooming themselves. They will pick dirt or debris out of their feathers.
- Female ducks will lead their young ducklings up to half a mile from their nest site over land to find a suitable water area for swimming and feeding.
- Ducks’ feathers have evolved to be highly waterproof. Even when they dive underwater, their underlayer of downy feathers will remain dry.
- When building a nest, female ducks will line the nest with soft down feathers which they pluck from their own breast. These soft feathers provide the best possible insulation and cushioning for the eggs.
- Many duck species will migrate for thousands of miles. Some can reach speeds beyond 60 mph when flying.
- In Celtic Mythology, the duck represents honesty, simplicity and resourcefulness. They are also viewed as sensitive, graceful and respected for their beauty and adaptation to nature.
- Type: Aves (Bird)
- Diet: Omnivore
- Lifespan: 4-12 years
- Size: 30-50 cm
- Weight: 0.7-1.4 kg
- Habitat: Rivers, lakes, woodland and wetlands
- Range: Global except Antartica
- Scientific name: Anatidae