Bubbles Feathered Beauties
Male Length : 26–33.1 in 66–84 cm
Wingspan : 53.9–59.8 in 137–152 cm
Weight : 70.2–141.1 oz 1990–4000 g
Female Weight : 38.8–51.9 oz 1100–1470 g
Relative Size : Larger than a Mallard; smaller than a Canada Goose.
Clutch Size : 8–15 eggs
Number of Broods : 1 broods
Egg Length : 2.4–2.8 in (6.2–7.1 cm)
Egg Width : 1.7–1.9 in (4.4–4.7 cm)
Incubation Period : 30–31 days
Egg Description : Glossy white, sometimes with greenish or buff tint.
Condition at Hatching : Featherless, with a heavy, hooked bill.
Size & Shape
Size & Shape
Muscovy Ducks are large, heavy-bodied ducks with long necks that can make them look like small geese. They have a fairly long bill that slopes smoothly up to the forehead. The tail is fairly long. Males are larger than females; domesticated individuals are often larger than wild.
Wild Muscovy Ducks are mostly black. Adult males have large white patches on the wings; juveniles show much smaller white wing patches. In good light, the black feathers can show a greenish gloss. Domesticated and feral Muscovy Ducks can have variable large patches of white to brown. Muscovy Ducks have red facial skin with odd warty growths
Wild Muscovy Ducks are wary birds that feed by dabbling in shallow wetlands. Domesticated individuals can be common at urban parks, where they mix with other ducks and take handouts from park visitors.
Wild Muscovy Ducks live in forested wetlands and nest in tree cavities. They forage in shallow wetlands, ponds, and lagoons. Domesticated ducks can be common on farms and in parks.
One of the oldest domesticated fowl species in the world, the Muscovy Duck was already being kept by native people in Peru and Paraguay when the early Spanish explorers arrived. The word “Muscovy” may refer to the Muscovy Company (incorporated in London in 1555), which transported these ducks to England and France.
Aztec rulers wore cloaks made from the feathers of the Muscovy Duck, which was considered the totem animal of the Wind God, Ehecatl.
Wild Muscovy Ducks are dark-plumaged, wary birds of forested areas. Domestic varieties—heavier, less agile birds with variable plumage—live on farms and in parks in warm climates around the world, where they can be confusing to bird watchers. Complicating the issue, male Muscovy Ducks frequently mate with other species and often produce sterile hybrid offspring.
Equipped with strong claws, Muscovy Ducks spend a lot of time perching in tall trees. They make their nests in large cavities of mature trees, but will also use artificial nest boxes. The first recorded wild nest in the United States was found in 1984, in a nest box built for Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks near Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park.
The male Muscovy Duck is the largest duck in North America, but the female is only half his size. After laying 8–15 eggs, she does all of the nest defense and raises the ducklings (which have sharp claws and hooked bills to climb out of the nest). She may also raise additional eggs laid in her nest by sneaky Black-bellied Whistling Ducks.