Aviculture references: J23.13.w7 B7, B11.33.w1, B29, B30, B94, B97 D1, D8 Other References   Return to top of page

All Muscovy ducks have long claws on their feet and a wide flat tail. In the domestic drake (male), length is about 86 cm (34 in) and weight is 4.6–6.8 kg (10–15 lb), while the domestic hen (female) is much smaller, at 64 cm (25 in) in length and 2.7–3.6 kg (6.0–7.9 lb) in weight. Large domesticated males often weigh up to 8 kg (18 lb), and large domesticated females up to 5 kg (11 lb).

domestic Muscovy Ducks, Elsham (Lincolnshire, UK), 7th April 2012 - one bird per row

Question is- will Gerald ( the neighborhood kids named him ) be O/K here in the winter here ? There is open water nearby all winter,

Mating in water; the large drake entirely submerges the female

@vez – those are Pekin ducks – domesticated white mallards developed in China.

Wild forms of muscovy duck are grayish black on the top and black with green and purple iridescence on the underside with prominent white patches on their wings. Known to flock in groups of fifty during the breeding season, most of the rest of the time, muscovies fly in small groups or alone, staying along stream banks and moving into savanna areas during the wet season.

The word manky means many things in British parlance from dirty and disgusting to inferior and worthless. Feral Muscovy Ducks seem to attract many of those epithets. Not only are the individual ducks hard to look at, but in groups, the feral populations create the same messes other masses of waterfowl do. Frankly, I find them gloriously grotesque, akin to New World vultures in their bare-faced beastliness. Do you agree?

juvenile domestic Muscovy Duck, Polgigga (Cornwall, UK), 18th November 2013

With most of my photos you can click on the image to bring up a larger version (and sometimes a less heavily cropped one).

The Muscovy duck (Cairina moschata) is a large duck native to Mexico, Central, and South America. Small wild and feral breeding populations have established themselves in the United States, particularly in Florida and the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas as well as in many other parts of North America, including southern Canada. Feral Muscovy ducks are found in New Zealand, Australia, and in parts of Europe.

The bill and legs are generally pinky-orange and the ey eoften pale bluish. The large reddish warty areas at the base of the bill make the males rather ugly.

C. moschata ducklings are mostly yellow with buff-brown markings on the tail and wings. For a while after hatching, juveniles lack the distinctive wattles associated with adult individuals, and resemble the offspring of various other ducks such as Mallards. Some domesticated ducklings have a dark head and blue eyes, others a light brown crown and dark markings on their nape. They are agile and speedy precocial birds.

Stahl PW. 2003. Pre-columbian Andean animal domesticates at the edge of empire. World Archaeology 34(3):470-483.

Stahl PW, and Norton P. 1987. Precolumbian Animal Domesticates from Salango, Ecuador. American Antiquity 52(2):382-391.

So, I would say in the case of Patrick O’Donnell, the birds he refers to are not the least bit manky, at least if you exclude native fauna from your definition of “manky”.

Does anyone know what age they get the red face? We are raising a duck that I believe is a Muscovy. Just wondering how old he will be to get the red face.

While most domestic ducks descend from the mighty Mallard, the other barnyard duck is the much maligned Muscovy. Actually, this lean, hardy bird has lots of fans in kitchens and at tables all over the world. However, the species sometimes referred to as the Barbary Duck appears very much out of place just about everywhere else.

They are not ugly-they are just different.I feed 2 regularly in Sydney,Australia.

Recent legislation in the USA prohibits trading of Muscovy ducks and plans for eradication are in order to solve nuisance problems.[20]

A Central and South American species that has been domesticated across the world. Escaped or released domestic Muscovy Ducks are increasingly common in the UK, with a few now breeding in the wild. Most do not resemble the predominantly-black wild form (though some may) - typically they are largely white or black-and-white, but there are silvery and brown forms too. Hybrids with Mallards occur, but the hybrids are apparently sterile.

captive Muscovy Ducks, Martin Mere (Lancashire, UK), 26th December 2014

We have one Muscovy in the reservoir behind us in Southern Ontario ( just outside Niagara Falls ). He is very friendly ( especially when food is involved ) and visits the fisherman.

Alternatively—just as in the "turkey" (which is also from America), or the "guineafowl" (which are not limited to Guinea)—"Muscovy" might be simply a generic term for a hard-to-reach and exotic place, in reference to the singular appearance of these birds. This is evidenced by other names suggesting the species came from lands where it is not actually native, but from where much "outlandish" produce was imported at that time (see below).

Although direct archaeological evidence (that is to say, muscovy duck bones) is fairly rare, convincing images of C. moschata are illustrated on clay pottery from Moche and Chimú cultures and are arguably illustrated in Aztec codexes and iconographic art from Mexico.

The drake has a low breathy call, and the hen a quiet trilling coo.

domestic Muscovy Duck, Swanton Morley (Norfolk, UK), 18th December 2004

domestic Muscovy Duck, Cleethorpes Boating Lake (Lincolnshire, UK), 7th April 2012

feral domestic Muscovy Ducks, Washington Loop Road (Florida, USA), 14th April 2013

Legal methods to restrict breeding include not feeding these ducks, deterring them with noise or by chasing, and finding nests and vigorously shaking the eggs to render them non-viable. Returning the eggs to the nest will avoid re-laying as the female would if the clutch were removed.

juvenile domestic Muscovy Ducks, Polgigga (Cornwall, UK), 19th October 2010

Muscovy ducks had been domesticated by various Native American cultures in the Americas when Columbus arrived in the Bahamas. The first few were brought onto the Columbus ship Santa Maria they then sailed back to Europe by the 16th century.

Stahl PW, Muse MC, and Delgado-Espinoza F. 2006. New evidence for pre-Columbian Muscovy Duck Cairina moschata from Ecuador. Ibis 148(4):657-663.

The muscovy is valued today for its unique rich and flavorful taste, a fairly high yield of breast meat, and a low calorie content. Eleven different breeds are known today, including several in China, where the famous Chinese genetic engineering experiments of the last 250 years (and, of course, without direct reference to genes until very lately) have been meticulously recorded. Interestingly, it is only within the last decade that genetic structure of C. moschata has been illuminated.

Domestic Muscovy Duck

We live in ofallon Missouri and have a Muscovy duck leaving in our pond. I have never seen one before. Is it common in Missouri?

I think I’ve seen these beauties on the Peconic River near Riverhead, NY. I sent a couple of pics your way.

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Well, you asked for my opinion, so here goes. They look like two-birds-in-one! Really, I did a double take on the first one you presented. And then I lingered on all the rest. It looks like something from Photoshop!

Aviornis UK Ringing Scheme recommended average ring size: U 22.0mm (males) or S 18.0mm (females) (wild-type only)(D8). Management Techniques -- Return to top of page

"In English, it is called The Muscovy-Duck, though this is not transferred from Muscovia [the New Latin name of Muscovy], but from the rather strong musk odour it exudes."[16]