Ducks are birds. They are related to geese and swans. Just like these, they usually live near water, for example, a lake. What is striking about ducks is their wide beak. A male duck is called a drake, sometimes also a drake. The female is simply a duck.
The dabbling ducks look for their food in the water, which is called gudgeons. They search the bottom mud for aquatic insects, crabs or plant remains. They suck in the water with an open beak and expel it with an open beak. At the edge of the beak, lamellae act like a filter. Lamellae are narrow, thin plates that stand in a row.
The diving ducks, on the other hand, really dive under. They stay there for half a minute to a full minute. They make it to depths of one to three meters. They also eat crabs and plant debris, as well as mollusks such as snails or small squid.
How do ducks breed?
During the breeding season, ducks live in pairs. However, the pairs do not live in colonies, but individually. The female usually builds the nest. It uses twigs and similar materials. Finally, it rips down feathers from its belly and uses them to pad the nest. This creates a bare spot on his skin called a “brood spot.”
The drakes do not breed. They often have many colors in their plumage, females are usually gray or brown, so that enemies do not discover them so easily when breeding. A lot depends on which species of duck you are talking about. A mallard, for example, only has one clutch per year. She carries around 7-16 eggs in her abdomen at a time. Duck eggs are slightly larger than chicken eggs. The yolk is larger, but it has less albumen.
The duck sits on the eggs so that they lie exactly under the brood spot. Because they then touch the skin directly, they have warmer. After about four weeks, the chicks begin to hatch.
Ducks can leave their nest after a few hours. That’s why they’re called “predators”. After about two months they can fly. But they stay with their siblings and their mother for another two months. Such a group is called “Schoof”.
Ducklings have many enemies, including badgers, foxes, hedgehogs, martens, rats, dogs, and cats. The aerial attackers are the hawk, the crow, the gull, various eagles, the peregrine falcon, and the eagle owl. Otters, pike, and some other fish attack the ducklings from the water. Therefore, from the many young animals usually, only a few remain.
Why do people keep ducks?
Many people like ducks because they find them cute and like to see them in a park. That is why today we have many duck species that originally came from other countries. An example is the mandarin duck, which is actually native to East Asia.
However, just like other birds, ducks are also kept to eat their meat or eggs. To do this, people took mallard ducks and bred pets from them. That happened about 3,000 years ago.
Above all, ducks are bred for their feathers. Duck down is a popular choice for stuffing pillows. Duck feathers used to be used for writing or for arrows so that they fly straight ahead.