All about Muscovy
Latin: Cairina moschata
Average length: M 31″, F 23.6″
Average weight: M 7.72 lbs., F 3.86 lbs.
Description: Muscovy ducks are brownish-black in coloration with iridescent green and purple dorsal plumage and white wing patches. The legs and feet are grayish-black and the iris is yellowish-brown. Males and females are similar in appearance; however, males are nearly twice as large as females. In addition, males have a patch of bare black skin surrounded by pinkish-red caruncles (fleshy outgrowths) which extends from the back of the eye to the bill. Although relatively silent, the male produces a low hissing sound, and the female has a short, weak “quack.”
Breeding: The muscovy duck is found in all parts of the world in a domesticated state. Its chief breeding range in the wild includes Central America and northern South America. In North America, muscovies are found locally in Mexico and a small population inhabits southern Texas at the extreme northern edge of its range. Muscovies prefer wetlands near forested areas and nest in tree cavities or nest boxes laying an average of 8 eggs.
Food habits: Muscovy ducks feed on the roots, stems, leaves, and seeds of aquatic and terrestrial plants, including agricultural crops. They also eat small fishes, reptiles, crustaceans, insects, millipedes, and termites.