Fun Masked Duck Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Masked Duck Facts For Kids

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The masked duck is very secretive and is very uncommon in its range as well. In Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean, where present, these birds can be seen scarcely due to their secretive nature. However, some birds are vagrants and are found in American states such as Texas. Formerly, this bird was a member of the genus Oxyura, but this has been lately changed to Nomonyx, which is the genus of which it is the only member. It is an intermediate species between the black-headed duck and the true stiff-tailed duck. As a member of the species of stiff-tailed duck, it belongs to the family Anatidae and is spotted in a wide range of freshwater and open water bodies and can even be seen in tree cover under shores. Although this bird is not threatened globally, it is declining in numbers due to hunting and drainage of wetlands. This bird can only fly for short distances and have a shorter flight height than many other birds.

To learn more about this amazing duck that feeds on plant material, read on. For info on other birds, take a look at Cayuga Duck Facts and Indian Runner Duck Facts.

Fun Masked Duck Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Seeds, roots, grasses, sedges, smartweeds, plant material

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

9.7-15.8 oz (275-450 g)

How long are they?

Wingspan - 17 in (43 cm)

How tall are they?

11.8-14 in (30-36 cm)

What do they look like?

Brownish-red with a black face mask

Skin Type


What were their main threats?


What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Ponds, Swamps, Mangroves, Rice Plantations, Marsh Vegetation


United States









Masked Duck Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a masked duck?

Masked ducks are birds that are part of the genus Nomonyx.

What class of animal does a masked duck belong to?

Masked ducks belong to the class Aves.

How many masked ducks are there in the world?

The exact number of masked ducks is not known, but there has been an estimation of 3,800 of these birds in Texas state in North America.

Where does a masked duck live?

Masked ducks are a common resident of South America, but this bird is also an uncommon resident of North America and Central America. They have been sighted in Texas and range through Hidalgo, Cameron County, and Chambers County in North America. Apart from the USA (where it is especially found in Texas), masked duck ranges from Mexico, West Indies to the Andes in Peru and Argentina.

What is a masked duck's habitat?

The habitat of this species of waterfowl or ducks is found in marshes, ponds, swamps, mangroves, rice plantations, and other open water bodies. Marshy ponds that have emergent vegetation like rushes are its main habitat. This species usually lives and can be seen between the range of 2887-4921 ft (880-1500 m) of elevation.

Who do masked ducks live with?

Masked ducks are usually seen in pairs or small groups of almost 20 ducks or more. These ducks are usually of their species, but sometimes they can also be seen with ruddy ducks.

How long does a masked duck live?

There has not been a lot of research into masked ducks, and hence, the life expectancy of this bird is unknown.

How do they reproduce?

The masked duck is a bird that breeds throughout the range all year round. The peak breeding season for this bird is between June and October in the region of Venezuela, but in West Indies, it is between November and May. The nesting is mostly in single pairs, and the nest site is shallow waters with marsh vegetation. Within this dense vegetation, the female builds a woven nest or bowl with a sparse lining on the down part using various aquatic plants like the reed. The nest can also be covered in a vegetal dome sometimes. A masked duck pair is usually monogamous but only for one mating season.

The female duck lays almost 3-6 creamy-white eggs, and sometimes several females lay eggs in a single nest resulting in a larger clutch. Incubation, on the other hand, is done alone by females. The chicks leave the nest soon after hatching. They also tend to feed by themselves but are mostly accompanied by adult females and sometimes by both parents. The ducks become fully-fledged 45 days after hatching.

What is their conservation status?

The duck is listed under the Least Concern category of the conservation Red List maintained by the IUCN.

Masked Duck Fun Facts

What do masked ducks look like?

Female Masked Duck.

The masked duck has brown and red breeding plumage, which is spotted on the upper parts and the flanks. They have a stiff tail. The stiff tail and the wings are both blackish. There is a large white patch on the upper wing, mostly visible in flight. The axillaries of this bird are white, and the breast and belly have buffy-white color. The masked duck head has a black mask on the face that extends to the rear crown, similar to the red mask found in the red-masked duck. The neck and the nape are a uniform chestnut in color. The bill of this bird is bright blue. The bill also contains a black tip. The eyes of this bird are dark brown with a white eye ring surrounding the eyes. The legs and the webbed masked duck feet are gray-black.

How cute are they?

The masked duck (Nomonyx dominicus) is extremely cute with its black mask and brown-red body.

How do they communicate?

The male masked duck gives a throaty 'kir-roo-kirroo-kiroo' repeatedly during some displays. It also makes a softer 'oo-oo-oo' like a pigeon sometimes. Female birds make clucking sounds and sometimes a hissing sound when they're disturbed.

How big is a masked duck?

The height of the masked duck range from 11.8-14 in (30-36 cm) with a wingspan of 17 in (43 cm). They are much smaller than the ruddy duck.

How fast can a masked duck fly?

These birds are excellent at taking flight from the water, but the exact speed of flight is unknown and hasn't been studied yet.

How much does a masked duck weigh?

The average weight of the birds of this duck species is between 9.7-15.8 oz (275-450 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

A male duck is called a drake, while females are called hens.

What would you call a baby-masked duck?

A baby masked duck is known as a duckling.

What do they eat?

They eat various plant materials such as seeds, roots, grasses, sedges, smartweeds, and many more. Most of their diet comes from underwater, which they acquire by diving and swimming. They also consume aquatic invertebrates apart from the plant material and hence are omnivores.

Are they friendly?

This species, Nomonyx dominicus, even though they are solitary, are friendly. They are often seen playing with their kind and the ruddy duck in the wild.

Would they make a good pet?

The masked duck is one of the solitary birds in the animal kingdom, and hence, keeping it as a pet is not a very good option. Also, its wild nature and relation to wildlife indicate that it should not be kept as a pet.

Did you know...

These ducks resemble ruddy ducks, although it is the females that have a closer resemblance than the males.

Why is it called masked duck?

It is called the masked duck because of the black mask it has on its face, which is very distinct.

What does a masked duck sound like?

These birds are usually silent. The sounds they do make sound like low grunts and also consist of whistling calls.

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 Common Eider Facts, or Harlequin Duck Facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on the Masked Duck coloring pages.

Written By
Moumita Dutta

<p>A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.</p>

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