Fun Labrador Duck Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Labrador Duck Facts For Kids

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The Labrador duck is an odd species of sea duck that had a very unusual bill. This bird's seasonal appearance along the American coast as far south as Chesapeake bay suggested that they were migratory, but no one sighted their nest or breeding grounds. Then, while collecting nests along the coast of Quebec with his father in 1833, John Woodhouse Audubon found several deserted nests. A local told Audubon that these were nests of pied ducks or Labrador ducks. Read on to learn all about this extinct species.

For more relatable content, check out these geoduck facts and redhead duck facts for kids.

Fun Labrador Duck Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Mollusks, crustaceans, plankton

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

1 -1.5 lb (450-680 g)

How long are they?

20 in (50.8 cm)

How tall are they?

30 in (76.2 cm)

What do they look like?

Gray, black, white

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Overfishing, Predators

What is their conservation status?


Where you'll find them?

Harbors, Sheltered Bays, Inlets, Sandy Coasts


North America, United States, New England, Eastern Canada, New Jersey









Labrador Duck Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Labrador duck?

The Labrador duck (Camptorhynchus labradorius) or commonly known as the Labrador duck, was a bird that was very rare in North America before it went extinct. It was considered a bad-tasting duck as it rotted quickly and was obtained at a low price. Yet, the reason for their extinction itself is controversial. It is also said that food was scarce for them, and as they searched for substitutes, they couldn't adapt to the change.

What class of animal does a Labrador duck belong to?

The Labrador ducks belong to the class Aves. These species of ducks have been extinct since 1878 and can only be seen in museums. There is roughly 55 specimen of this bird preserved in museums worldwide.

How many Labrador ducks are there in the world?

As far as the reports go, the last sighting of the Labrador ducks occurred in 1878 in Elmira, New York. It was already a rare duck before the European settlers arrived because of the decline in mussels and crustaceans. They became Extinct in the later 19th century and now have become a part of history.

Where does a Labrador duck live?

The Labrador ducks favored living in the southern sand coasts, sheltered bays, and harbors in parts of North America like New Jersey, New England.

What is a Labrador duck's habitat?

The Labrador ducks annually migrated, wintering off the coasts of Northern American shores where they stayed in harbors, inlets, sheltered bays of Nova Scotia south to the Chesapeake Bay. They nested in Labrador and Northern Quebec, where they would get access to mollusks and shellfishes. They had to go in search of a new habitat whenever food was scarce.

Who do Labrador ducks live with?

The Labrador ducks are birds that mostly tend to live in flocks or groups unless they need to go search for food.

How long does a Labrador duck live?

The Labrador ducks or the pied duck are now Extinct but they had a lifespan of 5-10 years.

How do they reproduce?

There have been no sightings of the nests of the Labrador birds, and very little is known about their breeding habits. Most of the authorities have been reluctant to speculate on the extent of its breeding grounds and nesting habits. It was a sea duck which suggests that they would nest and lay their eggs on coastlines and as they share common food habits with the species of eider. It is presumed that the two species share the same breeding ranges along the coast of Eastern Canada and Greenland. Very few Labrador duck eggs have been found.

What is their conservation status?

The Labrador ducks are Extinct as they made their last appearance in 1878 at Elmira, New York. The last preserved specimen of this species was shot in 1875 on Long Island. They were believed to be the first bird species found only in North America to completely disappear during the wave of extinctions that really began soon after the European settlements. Since then, the researchers had been in search of them only to declare the Labrador duck Extinct. The Labrador birds are now part of history.

Labrador Duck Fun Facts

What do Labrador ducks look like?

The Labrador duck (Camptorhynchus labradorius) or the pied ducks were found in rare quantities in North America. The female birds had a gray plumage that was weakly patterned, while the males had black and white plumage. The wings of the bird were entirely white, with the exception of primaries. They had an oblong head with tiny beady eyes. Their body was short with short, strong feet that were placed far behind their head. They had small feathers with short rounded tails, and the tip of their bill was round. The labrador duck resembled the scoter bird of the Melanitta genus.

female mallard duck

*Please note the main image and this image are of a mallard duck that belongs to the same family as the Labrador duck. If you have an image of a Labrador duck please let us know at [email protected].

How cute are they?

The Labrador duck or the pied duck can be considered cute, just like all ducks.

How do they communicate?

Very little is known about the Labrador ducks, so it can be assumed to have communicated like the other ducks through verbal communication or occasional quaking.

How big is a Labrador duck?

A Labrador duck is reported to be 20 in (50.8 cm) in length and has a wingspan of 30 in (76.2 cm). It is about three to four times larger than a common house sparrow.

How fast can a Labrador duck fly?

There is no specific information about the speed of the Labrador duck, but considering the general speed of the ducks, they might fly at the speed of 60 mph (96 kph).

How much does a Labrador duck weigh?

The Labrador birds weighed around 1-1.5 lb (450-680 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There is no special name given to the males and the females, and as they have been reported to extinction, we don't know much about it.

What would you call a baby Labrador duck?

The babies of the Labrador ducks or pied ducks were called ducklings or chicks.

What do they eat?

The Labrador duck had a diet of mussels, crustaceans and when there was a decline of mussels and other shellfishes due to the growth of population and industry, they started feeding on shallow water mollusks but they could not solely survive on this diet, and it drove them to extinction.

Are they dangerous?

They weren't dangerous to humans. In fact, humans were dangerous to them as they were sometimes caught by the fishermen's nets when they baited for mollusks.

Would they make a good pet?

As they were wild ducks, they may not have been good pets. But now that they are extinct, we may never know.

Did you know...

The species were sometimes referred to as Sand Shoal duck because of its habit of feeding in shallow water.

There is a controversy that some researchers suggested that the Labrador duck (camptorhynchus labradorius) was a hybrid between Steller's Eider and Common Eider, and they would have never existed in a full species. The plumage pattern and their odd bill structure were so similar to Steller's Eider. The researchers argue that if they were really a hybrid, that would explain why they were rare, and its hypothesized breeding grounds are still conjectural.

The Madagascar pochard is considered the rarest species of duck in the world.

Why did the Labrador duck go extinct?

The reason for the extinction of the Labrador ducks is quite controversial though there are many guesses as to the reason for Labrador duck extinction. The theories and records state that due to scarcity of food, the ducks wandered in their search and were unable to adapt to the changes. The overharvest of birds and eggs on the ducks breeding grounds might be a reason why they are Extinct. Some stated that there was Labrador duck hunting for the feather trade. Another possibility is that the enormous increase in human influence on the coasts caused the ducks to flee and find another habitat where they couldn't adjust.

Where did the Labrador duck come from?

Although the Labrador ducks are stated to have come from North America, not much is known about their origin. They are said to have migrated to the coasts of Northern American shores where they stayed in harbors, inlets, sheltered bays of Nova Scotia south to the Chesapeake Bay in winter.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our bowerbird facts and hummingbird facts pages.

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

Written By
Divya Raghav

<p>With a diverse range of experience in finance, administration, and operations, Divya is a diligent worker known for her attention to detail. Born and raised in Bangalore, she completed her Bachelor's in Commerce from Christ University and is now pursuing an MBA at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Bangalore. Along with her professional pursuits, Divya has a passion for baking, dancing, and writing content. She is also an avid animal lover who dedicates her time to volunteering for animal welfare causes.</p>

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