A wood duck sitting in water with emerald green feathered head, red eyes, an orange, white, and black beak, and a brown chest dappled with white

Let's Talk About Ducks

Many of us experienced the joy of ducks as young children, whether it be by feeding them at a local pond or zoo, playing duck-duck-goose, or being entertained by watching them in cartoons and movies. Of course we all remember Daffy and Donald, and who could forget Donald’s triplet nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie (and their lost brother Phooey)? But there was also Scrooge McDuck, Disco Duck, Howard the Duck, Ernie’s rubber duckie, the Aflac duck, Dax the Duck, mascot of the internet search engine DuckDuckGo. And don’t forget Duck Hunt, a Nintendo video game released in 1984. And so many more...

Real ducks are known for their quacking and waddling, but did you know they also come in a variety of vibrant colors with vastly different characteristics? Here are some fun facts about six cool ducks. Look for these and more in our newest calendar, Dapper Ducks of 2024.

Mandarin ducks are known for their strikingly beautiful appearance, with the males being brightly colored with vibrant green, purple, and orange plumage. They are native to East Asia and are considered a symbol of love and fidelity in Chinese culture. Interestingly, they are also one of the few duck species that nest in trees rather than on the ground.

Wood ducks are another stunning duck species, known for their intricate and colorful plumage which includes shades of green, purple, and white. They are found throughout much of North America and are unique in that they have sharp claws on their feet which allow them to perch and climb trees with ease. In addition to being excellent climbers, wood ducks are also strong fliers, capable of reaching speeds of up to 30 miles per hour.

Harlequin ducks are a strikingly beautiful duck species found along rocky shorelines and fast-moving rivers in North America. The males have a bold blue-grey coloring with white stripes and patches of rust-colored feathers, while the females have a more muted brown and grey coloration. These ducks are known for their diving abilities, and can dive up to 200 feet deep in search of food.

Ruddy ducks are a unique duck species, known for their bright blue beaks and their tendency to swim with their tails pointing straight up in the air. They are found throughout much of North and South America, and are frequently seen in large flocks during the winter months. Despite their small size, ruddy ducks are strong swimmers and divers, and are capable of swimming long distances to reach their feeding grounds.

Surf scoters are a large sea duck species that are found along the coastlines of North America. Living in the Pacific Northwest, we would be remiss without including surf scoters. These ducks are known for their striking black and white plumage, with males having a distinctive orange knob on their bills. They are strong swimmers and divers, and are capable of diving to depths of up to 100 feet in search of food.

Smew ducks are a small duck species that are found in northern Europe and Asia. These ducks have a distinctive black and white plumage, with the males having a more striking panda-like appearance with a white body, black around the eyes, and a black and white striped head. Unlike many other duck species, smew ducks do not quack, but instead make a high-pitched whistling sound. They are also known for their fast flight speeds, which can reach up to 50 miles per hour.

These incredible ducks are a sight to behold and are a reminder of the beauty and diversity of the natural world.

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