Fun Perching Duck Facts For Kids

Anusuya Mukherjee
Jan 13, 2023 By Anusuya Mukherjee
Originally Published on Sep 09, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fun Perching Duck Facts For Kids

Perching ducks used to be a part of the small subfamily of the Anatinae family, order Anseriformes. The species are quite different as they were grouped together by their readiness to perch on trees rather than physical and behavioral aspects.

Now, Salvadori's teal (Salvadorina waigiuensis), blue duck (Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos), and torrent duck (Merganetta armata) are placed in the subfamily Tadorninae.

They are appealing birds that have iridescent plumage and are closely related to dabbling ducks. Some of the popular perching ducks are the Muscovy duck, African pygmy duck (Nettapus auritus), and spur winged goose (Plectropterus gambensis).

To know more about them keep reading and do check out our other articles on green heron facts and common goldeneye facts.

Perching Duck Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a perching duck?

The perching duck is a type of bird belonging to the Anatidae family, order Anseriformes.

What class of animal does a perching duck belong to?

Perching ducks (Cairinini) belong to the Aves class of the Animalia kingdom.

How many perching ducks are there in the world?

The tree perching duck has 14 species whose populations differ greatly. One of the species wood duck (Aix sponsa) has a population of 60,000-75,000 individuals and the Mandarin duck (Aix galericulata) has around 65,000 individuals.

Where does a perching duck live?

The North American Wood duck (Aix sponsa)and the Muscovy duck (Cairini) are endemic to America, torrent ducks (Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos) are endemic to the Santa Marta mountains of Andes and Colombia. Their distribution range covers a vast area of tropical and subtropical regions in Mexico, Africa and North America.

What is a perching duck's habitat?

Typically, perching ducks inhabit forested lakes and rivers. They are widely dispersed in lakes, lagoons, streams, watersheds, and marshlands since they like to perch on trees alongside watercourses. They are seen perching high up in trees around water surrounded areas. Certain species like the Torrent duck (Merganetta armata) can be found in elevations up to 4,900 ft (1,500 m).

Who do perching ducks live with?

Their mating preference cannot be classified under one category as they all have certain differences. Some of the species like the Muscovy duck (Cairina moschata) and ringed teal duck (Callonetta leucophrys) might be solitary, while others such as the North American wood duck (Aix sponsa) either live in pairs or small groups.

Brazilian teal duck (Amazonetta brasiliensis) lives in small groups of 10-20 birds. All species of the perching ducks nest solitarily.

How long does a perching duck live?

There is no general estimation of the lifespan of perching ducks. The species lifespans may be as high as 20 years (observed in perching Muscovy duck).

How do they reproduce?

All of the species are oviparous, which means they reproduce by depositing eggs. When it comes to mating, they are extremely active. Females to a great extent rely on tree cavities to deposit their eggs.

The species' egg production ranges between 8-17. The eggs are typically varying shades of white, with certain species having distinct hues, and their incubation time is around 30 days. Courtship behavior has been documented in many species.

These ducks may mate with other diving or dabbling ducks. They are ducks like Mandarin ducks who cannot participate in hybridization due to the owing to the difference in chromosomal composition. Females of this species are reported to be the sole caretakers of the young ones.

What is their conservation status?

Because there are 14 species, the conservation status somewhat varies. Except for the Salvadori's teal and blue duck (Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos), all species are currently classified as Least Concern, with some populations declining. The blue duck is Endangered, whereas the Salvadori's teal is Vulnerable.

Perching Duck Fun Facts

What do perching ducks look like?

The morphological characteristics of the perching duck species vary. They are all supposed to have iridescent hues, and males are bigger than females.

Males start the mating process, therefore they are considered to have more spectacular and eye catching hues unlike females rather have more muted colors. The juvenile's appearance may resemble that of their mothers. Male ducks can be aggressive, but females are calm and collected.

Two distinct plumes might be recognized, breeding plumage and non breeding plumage. Also, mostly they are medium sized bids that have sharp black or dark claws.

How cute are they?

The iridescent plumage observed in these birds is quite attractive. The bird Nettapus pulchellus (green pygmy goose) is named after a Latin term meaning pretty.

How do they communicate?

They communicate by making sounds known as calls. Their call notes range from low to high in pitch.

The knob billed duck (Sarkidiornis melanotos) is deemed silent, their sound is less frequent and even when they are, the frequency is quite low, unlike other ducks, such as the Australian duck (Chenonetta jubata) who are vocal and generate high pitched noises.

How big is a perching duck?

Perching duck species are not all the same length. The average length of these ducks is 18.5-2 in (47-56 cm). Among them, the largest is the white winged duck (Asarcornis scutulata), and the smallest ones are the green pygmy goose(Nettapus pulchellus) and African pygmy duck (Nettapus auritus). The former is the second largest duck species.

How much does a Perching Duck weigh?

Since this family comprises 14 unique species, each of which is distinct from the others their weights vary too. The average weight is 14.6-24.3 oz (416 -689 g) with the knob billed bird being the heaviest.

What are the male and female names of the species?

This species of this sub-family is dimorphic and the sexes are significantly different. Males have bright plumage while females have subdued plumage. Generally, males are heavier than females.

The mandarin duck in Chinese is called yuanyan, yuan female, and yan male. Not all of them have sex specific names. In that case, it is called perching duck female or male.

What would you call a baby perching duck?

Other than perching duck baby there's no other name for the young ones.

What do they eat?

The diet of this bird includes a wide variety. The main part of their diet is larva and pupae. Food like plants and seeds are favored by species such as mandarin ducks (Aix galericulata). Larger birds tend to consume insects, snails, crustaceans, mollusks, snakes, fish, and frogs.

Are they dangerous?

The hazards they carry with them are less severe. Disturbing them and altering their way of life may cause them to become violent. Some of them even displayed hostile behavior against humans, but this is quite unusual. But watch out for the spur winged goose (Plectropterus gambensis).

They are toxic because one of the things they eat, blister beetle. The poison cantharidin is deposited in the tissues of these birds. As a result, eating them causes slow poisoning.

Would they make a good pet?

Having them as pets might be tiresome. They are not particularly sociable, and their attitude toward humans varies. When this bird is kept away from their original habitat, they become increasingly haughty.

Did you know...

Most of the species are similar to dabbling ducks and the Australian wood duck is closely related to the ringed teal birds (Callonetta leucophrys) that are often referred to as relatives.

The pink-eared duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus) is sometimes called the zebra duck as they have black and white patterns similar to that of the zebra.

In China, the Mandarin perching duck couple is said to be a symbol of love.

Since Hartlaub's duck (Pteronetta hartlaubii) was closely related to dabbling ducks it was grouped in their subfamily.

Muscovy ducks often produce sterile eggs. This happens when they mate with other species.

Brazilian teal ducks (Amazonetta brasiliensis) are called dirty ducks by tourists as it is regularly seen relaxing in stagnant water puddles.

Are perching ducks endangered?

Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos is an Endangered species. Their population is less than 3000 in the wild. Habitat loss and predations are being controlled to secure their population.

What's unique about perching ducks?

The most distinct feature is that these ducks, with the help of sharp claws, perch in long trees. Their nest is also found in great heights.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these red crowned crane facts and Siberian crane facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable perching duck coloring pages.

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Written by Anusuya Mukherjee

Bachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

Anusuya Mukherjee picture

Anusuya MukherjeeBachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".

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