Monday, February 12, 2018

Muscovy Duck (Feral)

Wild muscovy ducks are found as far north as southern Texas and are found along the Gulf Coast of Mexico, through the Yucatan Peninsula, the mid to southern portions of the Pacific Coast of Mexico, Central America and large swaths of South America. It is blackish, with a greenish gloss in the light, with large white wing patches. The bill is black with a speckling of pink and it has a black or red knob at the base of the bill. Bare skin on the face is the same color. 

Wild and feral populations have established themselves in Florida and in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, particularly, but also other parts of the U.S. The feral ducks are mostly black and white with the black feathers iridescent and glossy in males. The bill can be yellow, pink, black, or a mixture of those colors. They have pink or red wattles around the bill. They've been bred since pre-Columbian times and are heavier than their wild cousins and are less able to fly long distances. 
Colorful pin, red and black bill.
Iridescent blackish/green back feathers.
Although Muscovy is a term associated with the area around Moscow, Russia, they did not originate there, nor were they found there before the name was given. 
Good view of skin around the eye and face.
Bill in the muck.
I've cooked Muscovy duck and so I knew what the duck was when I saw it at the Circle Bar B Reserve in Lakeland, Florida. I didn't know what the range was, so didn't realize that the duck I was seeing was feral. It was beautiful and I watched it for several minutes, thrilled to see one in the wild. 

1 comment:

  1. The camouflage is incredible . . . until you look at the red piece on his face.