Posted on January 16, 2019 by adminQuack We all are familiar with ducks. They shouldn’t be confused with the large birds such as the swans and geese. Ducks are small aquatic birds inhabiting both fresh and sea waters. Baby ducks are called as ducklings but in food trade the adult ducks that are prepared to undergo roasting are called as ducklings. Body of a duck is broad and elongated with long and flexible neck like that of birds. The body shape of the diving ducks is somewhat rounded in shape. Bill or beak is somewhat broad and covered with serrated lamellae accommodated for filter feeding. The bill is long and strongly serrated in the fishing species. Legs are supplied with scales and are put somewhat on the trunk of the body. Wings are strong, short and pointed out and the flight in ducks consists of fast continuous strokes that require rapid movement of their flight muscles. Three species of the streamer ducks are completely flightless. Many species remain temporarily flightless during moulting and in this period they require very good food supply and protective areas to hide. This moult typically precedes migration. Drakes of northern species have extravagant plumage but the southern species show less sexual dimorphism. Paradise Shelduck of New Zealand shows well developed sexual dimorphism where the plumage of female is extremely much bright compared to that of male. Ducks prefer to feed on a huge variety of food sources such as grasses, fish, insects, aquatic plants, small amphibians, worms and other molluscs. Diving ducks and the sea ducks forage underwater. Body of diving ducks is somewhat heavier than the dabbling ducks so they’re unable to fly. Dabbling ducks feed on the materials found on the surface of water of they capture food on land. At the edge of the beak there is a comb-like structure called pecten. It acts like strainer and helps in food capture. Pecten is also utilized in preening. Some species like smew and the goosanders have the ability to catch and swallow huge fishes. Other species have flat beaks for pulling up waterweed, pulling mud and small molluscs, insects and other worms. Ducks are monogamous and this bond proceeds for one year only. Most species tend to breed once in year under favourable conditions. The noise produced by ducks is called quacking and it’s understood that the females of most dabbling species quack. Ducks have a wide range of calls like whistle cooing, yodels and grunt. Calls may be loud or very contact calls. They are cosmopolitan in distribution happening in all areas of the world except Antarctica. Some species have been found to inhabit sub-Antarctic islands such as South Georgia and Auckland Islands. Few species are also noticed to occupy the oceanic islands while few are threatened or have become extinct. Some species are migratory especially those belonging to the Arctic Northern Hemisphere. Tropical species don’t migrate at all. Australian duck species form loose spots during the rainy season. Many animals predate upon ducks. The ducklings are extremely vulnerable to be attacked by predators. Though the adult ducks are strong fliers but can be captured by their enemies on the surface of water and on land. Ducks share lots of economic uses. They are farmed for meat, eggs and feathers. They’re kept and bred by the aviculturists and are also displayed in zoos. Wild ducks are also consumed as food in many parts of world. Ducks are also a component of fiction such as the Donald Duck that’s a famous cartoon character and appeared in Walt Disney for the first time in 1934. Ducks are adorable animals making our environment beautiful.