Did you know that a duck could live upto 20 years? Yes, that is right. Although domesticated ducks have a relatively less lifespan when compared to their wild counterparts, the former can approximately live for 10 to 15 years. One mallard duck lived for 27 years, making it the highest life span for a duck till date. These lovely birds are generally found in aquatic habitats like wetlands, marshes, ponds, rivers, lakes and even oceans.
Winter is the perfect season for ducks to look out for a mate. Males attract the opposite sex with their beautiful colored feathers. The mating and breeding process generally occurs in the same place where the female duck was hatched. Some ducks travel extremely long distances to breed.
A female can lay five to 12 eggs. She lays them on specially built nests made up of grass, reeds, etc. Sometimes, even a hole in a tree is considered an ideal place for nesting. The female sits on the eggs to keep them warm and incubated till they hatch. The incubation period is around 28 days (except the Muscovy duck, which takes 35 days), after which the ducklings are ready to see the outside world. Raccoons, hawks and turtles are ducklings’ primary predators so the female duck has a big task at hand trying to keep other animals off her ducklings.
Preening is a unique method adopted by ducks to keep themselves clean. Another characteristic feature is the way they migrate from one place to the other. They gather together near large lakes or marshes and fly in a trademark ‘V’ shape or in a straight line.
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