Muscovy Duck is well known to many, but for most people, it is the
domesticated version to which they are familiar. The true, wild
Muscovy Duck is a bird of the tropical Americas, and is a wary and wild
bird. Wild Muscovy Ducks have a plumage that is nearly all dark,
except for brilliantly white feathers under the wings. Domesticated
versions of the species may have a very wide array of plumages, but
generally include more white or other colors than the all-dark wild Moscovy
Ducks. The normal breeding range of the wild Muscovy Duck normally
reaches just into northern Mexico, but there are occasional, wild, breeding
Muscovy Ducks in the far southern portion of Texas. It is extremely
likely that Muscovy Ducks spotted elsewhere in the United States have a
Habitat: Found in a variety of aquatic habitats,
including tropical swamps, other forested wetlands, and herbaceous wetlands,
and water bodies.
Diet: Omnivorous, feeding on both plant and animal
matter. Will feed on aquatic plants (seeds, stems, roots, and leaves),
small mollusks and crustaceans, and insects and spiders. Will occasionally
feed on small vertebrates such as small amphibians, lizards, and fish.
Behavior: Dabbles in shallow water, or feeds on
Nesting: Prefers to nest in tree cavities or other
cavities, although they will also sometimes nest in heavy vegetation.
The male Muscovy Duck may breed with multiple females. Females alone
incubate eggs and raise young.
Song: Generally silent, but the males do
occasionally emit a whistling sound.
Migration: Considered a permanent resident through
its normal range.
Distinctive if seen well.
Conservation Status: There are currently no
perceived major threats to Muscovy Duck populations, and
IUCN cites it as a species of "Least Concern".