10 Interesting Facts About Ducks

Yellow Duckling on Gray Dirt
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels

Ducks might not seem as flashy as some other animals, but they’re actually pretty amazing! We’ll uncover a variety of interesting facts about ducks that will leave you amazed and perhaps even quacking with delight! So, grab your virtual binoculars and join us as we embark on an adventure to discover their quirks, habits, and peculiarities.

Ducks’ feet don’t feel the cold

White Duck With 22 Ducklings in Green Grass Field
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels

If you’ve spotted a duck happily waddling in the snow or paddling through icy water, don’t fret about their feet! While ducks rely on their feathers to stay warm, their feet are built differently. Unlike us, ducks’ feet don’t have nerves or blood vessels, so they don’t feel the cold. That means they’re perfectly comfortable strutting or swimming in chilly weather without needing any extra protection for their feet.

Baby ducks talk before they hatch

ducklings, duck, cute
Photo by 165106 on Pixabay

Did you know that ducklings actually chat with each other before they even hatch? It’s true! They communicate while they’re still in their eggs to coordinate their hatching. This teamwork is very important because it helps them all hatch around the same time, making them safer from predators when they stick together in a group. Once they’re out, they continue to stick together, swimming and walking side by side, following their mom closely.

Ducks like being together

brown and white duck on green grass during daytime
Photo by Miguel Alcântara on Unsplash

Ducks thrive best when they’re with their duck buddies in their natural habitat. When they’re chilling out on the water, they gather in what’s called a “paddling”—a fancy word for a group of ducks. Being in these groups helps keep them safe from sneaky predators. With their pals around, ducks can focus on finding tasty snacks and sleeping peacefully, trusting that their buddies will sound the alarm if there’s any trouble nearby.

Ducks have different accents

flock of ducks
Photo by REY MELVIN CARAAN on Unsplash

A researcher named Dr. Victoria de Rijke recorded the sounds of ducks living in different places. She listened to ducks from busy London and compared them to ducks from the calm countryside. The city ones had louder and rougher quacks because they had to talk over all the noise. But the country ones? Their quacks were longer and more relaxed, sounding much like the people living there.

Female ducks choose mates based on dancing ability

brown duck on green grass during daytime
Photo by Ali Kurmasha on Unsplash

During mating season, male ducks put on quite the show to woo a female. They perform intricate displays to impress her, and she gets to pick her favorite based on his performance and the look of his feathers. But here’s the thing: duck mating can be intense for the female, so it’s important that she has the freedom to choose her partner.

Ducks are more intelligent than you might think

green, gray, and brown mallard duck in body of water
Photo by Ravi Singh on Unsplash

You might not think of ducks as geniuses (have you ever heard the phrase “bird-brained”?), but guess what? They’re very clever! Duck scientists believe that ducks can think abstractly and understand the relationships between objects. This kind of brainpower used to be thought of as only for “smarter” animals like apes, but we keep discovering that animals are way more intelligent than we imagined. Ducks sure know how to surprise us with their smarts.

Ducks eat almost anything

two brown ducks
Photo by Patrick Robert Doyle on Unsplash

Ducks are like the ultimate foodies—they’ll munch on almost anything! Their diet is very varied, including plants, grass, insects, seeds, fruit, fish, crabs, and nearly anything they find! They’ll even gobble up gravel, small stones, or sand, storing them in their gizzards to help digest their food. However, avoid feeding them bread. It might seem like a treat, but it doesn’t provide the proper nutrition and can harm them.

Ducks can fly very high

brown and white bird flying during daytime
Photo by Amee Fairbank-Brown on Unsplash

When ducks migrate, they usually fly at altitudes ranging from 200 to 4,000 feet. But get this—sometimes they go way higher! In Nevada, a jet plane once hit a Mallard duck at a whopping 21,000 feet! That’s the highest-recorded flight of any duck ever. These feathered fliers sure know how to reach for the skies!

Ducks have better vision than you do

brown and green mallard duck on water
Photo by Robert Thiemann on Unsplash

Ducks have some pretty amazing eyes! Their eye shape lets them see things up close and far away at the same time, in super clear detail. Plus, since their eyes are on the sides of their heads, they can see almost all around them—like having a 340-degree view. Moreover, they can move each eye separately and even snooze with one eye open to watch out for any sneaky predators.

Duck bills are as sensitive as human fingertips

Green and Gray Mallard Duck
Photo by Saeid Anvar on Pexels

Duck bills are incredible—they’re equipped with touch receptors similar to the ones in our fingertips and palms. This feature helps them find food in muddy or murky water, like having built-in sensors. Sadly, many ducks endure painful experiences, especially those used in the foie gras industry.