Ducks at Our Long Island Zoo

Long Island Ducks

The duck is an animal that comes from the Anatide family and is found in almost every continent except Antarctica, due to the drastically cold temperatures. There are almost 40 breeds of domestic ducks in the world. They are usually found around water — whether it be a pond, lake, or the sea. Sometimes you may even see a family of ducks crossing the road close to a body of water.

Baby ducks are called ducklings, adult male ducks are called drakes, and female ducks are typically called hens. All ducks have a wax coating on their feathers, which makes them extremely waterproof. Even if a duck dives underwater, its underlayer stays dry! Ducklings are covered with down, fine feathers, under their tough exterior feathers, which enable them to leave their mother’s nest just after a few hours of hatching. A duck’s wings are short, pointed, and usually strong, due to their speedy, continuous stroking motions in the water.

The duck is an omnivorous animal that feeds on aquatic plants, grass, insects, seeds, fruits, and some fish. Overall, the body structure of the duck is elongated and broad for diving purposes. Their bills are long and broad as well and contain lamellae (ridges), which help filter feeding.

Despite popular belief, many breeds of ducks do not “quack.” The female dabbling duck species produce a “quacking” noise. Mostly, a duck’s noises consist of grunts, cooing, and whistling, which frequently occur when predators, such as large fish and flying birds, are in the vicinity.