Thursday, December 12, 2013

Muscovy Duck

These photos depict Muscovy Ducks. While most domestic ducks come from Mallard stock, some are descended from Muscovys. Clearly these are ducks that only their mothers would love. Wild Muscovy’s differ from feral birds in a number of features, but especially by the amount to white on the feral birds’ heads and necks. Wild birds, which are found from Mexico through much of South America, do not have white on their heads of necks. Feral birds—those escaped from domestication—have variable amounts of white.

Wild stock has been introduced to south Florida and Texas. Both birds in this post are feral. The first photo was among a small flock strolling through the Key West (Florida) botanical garden. The second bird was near Victoria, Texas at Saxet Lake County Park. As feral birds, Muscovy Ducks are sort of like Rock Pigeons, not quite wild and often not really domestic. Despite the Texas birds being free flying, I notice that eBird did not confirm my report, presumably classifying them as domestic birds. My other record, no less feral, was accepted by the Florida eBird reviewers.

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