What ducks are these?
November 23, 2017 10:07 AM   Subscribe

Are these ducks escaped domestic ducks of some kind, or are they a weird species of wild duck that I'm unfamiliar with?

These two showed up on a pond near where I work (Waterloo, ON, Canada) last week, and they seem to like it here. They're noticeably (10–20%) larger than your conventional mallards, but smaller than the Canada Geese (both of which species hang out on the pond.) From a distance, I almost thought that they were snow geese, but they don't have any black feathers. I have not noticed them making any vocalizations.
posted by Johnny Assay to Science & Nature (5 answers total)
 
Muscovy ducks, perhaps? Not native to Canada, but you do see them on farms a lot.
posted by umwhat at 10:13 AM on November 23, 2017 [9 favorites]


Second vote for Muscovy ducks.
posted by Brockles at 10:20 AM on November 23, 2017


Yes, these are domestic breed Muscovy Ducks (wild ones are glossy green-black). The meat is often sold as ‘Barbary Duck’ although they do not in fact come from either Moscow or North Africa, so I don’t know why.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 10:24 AM on November 23, 2017


If they're not full Muscovy, they're probably a cross. The duck pond near us gets a lot of interbreeding between the mallards and the domestic breeds (which are apparently infertile, the mules of the duck world).
posted by theweasel at 10:26 AM on November 23, 2017 [1 favorite]


Yes, definitely domestic. But I think they look more like Muscovy-Pekin hybrids than pure Muscovy ducks. Muscovies have more bare skin around their eyes. Pekin ducks (and most other domestic ducks) are the domesticated version of mallards and can interbreed with mallards because they're the same species. Muscovy ducks are a different species but they can apparently breed with mallards/Pekins, producing infertile offspring. An image search for "muscovy pekin hybrid" shows a lot of ducks that look similar to the ones in the photo.
posted by Redstart at 10:35 AM on November 23, 2017 [5 favorites]


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