The duck is an aquatic bird very present in our environment. Present on all continents, with the exception of Antarctica, it is undoubtedly one of the most familiar wild birds. As a result, the duck occupies a significant place in popular culture, literature and children’s stories. They represent a popular subject in art and decoration.
What characterizes the duck?
The duck belongs to the Anatidae family which also includes geese and swans. Its beak is characteristic. Its paws are webbed to move forward with ease in the water. Its plumage is waterproof.
Two types of ducks
Diving ducks are distinguished from surface ducks. The former feed mainly underwater and are much less agile on dry land than surface ducks. Whatever group he belongs to,
What do ducks eat?
Ducks are omnivores and feed mainly on grass, aquatic plants, insects, seeds, fruits, worms, fish, crustaceans.
How do ducks reproduce?
The duck is migrating. Many species travel long distances between their breeding and feeding grounds.
Reproduction varies depending on the species. As for the most widespread species, the mallard duck, it nests in Europe between mid-March and the end of July. The female lays one egg per day. When she has laid between 7 and 11 eggs, the female begins to brood. This will last 28 days. The duck leaves her clutch once or twice a day to eat and grease her feathers. This is often in the morning and evening, each time for 30 to 60 minutes. Before leaving, she camouflages the egg laying with a layer of down feathers.
The eggs hatch together within a few hours. The chicks leave the nest 6 to 12 hours after hatching and immediately follow their mother to a watering hole.
Ecological role of the duck
Ducks play an important role in regulating invertebrate and plant populations. Their presence promotes the balance of aquatic ecosystems by preventing the proliferation of certain species and contributing to the dispersal of seeds.
The conservation of wetlands and the implementation of protection measures appear essential to ensure the survival of these birds.
Relationship with man
When we come across ducks, we may be tempted to give them bread. But this is a habit that kills them. The massive consumption of bread causes “angel wing” disease which deforms their wings. Ducks can no longer fly and escape their predators.
As they are full, they turn away from the foods they need for balance. They become more susceptible to parasites, diseases and cold.
Ducks accustomed to obtaining food from humans also become dependent on humans and have difficulty feeding themselves when winter arrives.