This large duck is 26-33 inches
long, weighs 2-9 pounds, and has a wingspan of
54-60 inches; females are noticeably smaller than
males, and domesticed muscovies are larger than
Truly wild muscovies are dark
green, almost black, with large white wing
patches and lead blue legs. The male has a
prominent blackish or dark red knob at the
bill base, a bare skin face that is similar to
the knob in color, and a mane-like crest. The
female's plumage is very similar to the male's,
but her knob and crest are far less prominent and
her face is feathered. The juvenile is duller
overall, with little or no white on the
upperwing. Domesticated muscovies come in a wide
range of colors and color patterns, but the most
common patterns are mostly black with some white
and mostly white with black markings.
The muscovy is native to
tropical America from Mexico to Peru and
Argentina, but has been introduced to and
domesticated in many parts of the world. Truly
wild muscovies are found on streams, lakes, and
marshes that are surrounded by woods and forests,
while domesticated and feral muscovies occupy a
wide variety of habitats, including cold
During the breeding season (August to May),
dominant male ducks attract female ducks by
wagging their tails and showing off their crests.
In most flocks (wild and domestic), a few males
mate with most of the females. Unsuccessful males
form small bachelor groups.
female mates she builds a nest in a hollow tree,
anywhere from 9 to 60 feet above the ground.
Nests are constructed of twigs, stems and mud. Eight to ten white eggs are laid per
clutch, and are incubated solely by the female
for 33-35 days. The hatchlings are protected by
the female for 60-70 days, at which time they are
able to fly and care for themselves. Although the
male does not participate in the rearing of
ducklings, he will zealously guard the area
around his mates' nesting sites.
Both sexes reach sexual
maturity at about 28 weeks, and they can live up
to 8 years in the wild.
Muscovies feed on the roots, stems, leaves,
and seeds of aquatic and terrestrial plants, as
well as small fish, reptiles, crustaceans,
insects, millipedes, and termites. Muscovy ducks
dabble and graze with their bills to collect
Other Habits and
In the wild muscovies roost and
nest in trees.
Outside of the breeding season
they live in flocks of 50 or more.
Muscovies have very different vocalizations
from other ducks. Males have a dry hissing call,
while females make quiet trilling "pip"
sounds. Neither sex "quacks."
genus & species Cairina moschata
Animal Diversity Web http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Cairina_moschata/
Beauty of Birds https://www.beautyofbirds.com/muscovyduck.html
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