Muscovy Ducks

Muscovy ducks are remarkably adapted for survival. This resourceful duck, which appears to have no fear of humans, has taken over numerous parks and sidewalks all over the world. The Muscovy is a native of South and Central America but can now be found in places as remote as Russia. In an event which I like to refer to as The Great Extinction, the people in my neighborhood decided to eliminate all the Muscovy ducks. After they captured and ‘relocated’ them, the park ducks were replaced by white Pekins and other cream colored domestics.
Not everyone is a fan of the signature red bumps which grow on Muscovy’s beaks and heads. But don’t let their looks fool you! Muscovies are brilliant birds. They know how to live on your lawn and stay out of otter infested ponds. Their fast growing ducklings become hawk and crow proof much earlier than the less successful Mallards. Hens make great mothers: their aggressiveness keeps their babies safe from predators where other duck mothers would run for their lives. I’ve seen them fend off Great Blue Herons and dogs. Some scientists would contend that Muscovies are in fact geese, or the link between goose and duck. Their size, voices and gait are unique in the duck world.

Whatever the case, their bond with humans is what makes them truly special. Anyone who’s ever owned a ‘scovy knows how lovable and tame they can be. They can learn their name, be taught tricks and will fly over when they see you – across lakes, no less!


Muscovy photos curtesy of thisĀ beautiful backyard blog