Muscovy Duck

Common Names:

Muscovy Duck, Musky Duck, Musco Duck or Barbary Duck

Distribution / Range

Muscovies are native to Mexico, Central and South America - but they originated in Brazil.  Feral populations have established themselves in the USA, Europe, Australia and Asia.

In the United States, they are common in Florida and southern Texas. Individual birds or flocks (usually family groups) in San Francisco (Stow Lake inside of Golden Gate Park), Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

In Canada, several are found along the Thames River, London, Ontario and one immature brown-phase immature birds was spotted in Windsor, Ontario (2012).

UK & Japan: They have also been reported in United Kingdom and one report (with photo) of a male duck in Okinawa, Japan (obviously introduced).

Australia: One immature male was sighted in Loxton on the Murray River Description

Description

The most distinctive feature of the muscovy ducks is the featherless, bright "lumpy" red mask around their eyes and above the beak, which is larger in the male.  Muscovies have a "crest" on the top of their heads that they can raise at will. The male is easily identified by his face mask alone - but also by his generally larger size - in fact, the adult male is usually twice the size of the female. The female's appearance is generally more slender than that of the male. The original color of the Muscovy is glossy blackish/brown and white, and most of them still are that color - with varying degrees of white, black or brown ("pieds"). Some of them are very light colored (mostly white), while others are mostly black/brown. The black / dark brown patches have an attractive iridescence to them that can only be seen in the right light conditions.

 

Avianweb Species Page

Species image
Muscovy Duck

Muscovy Duck

Bill Shape
spatulate
Regions
florida
mexico
texas
Tail Shape
fan-shaped-tail
Wing Shape
tapered-wings
Habitat
Forests
Color
sheen
black
Body Shape
duck
Size
large
Order
ducks, geese and swans - anatidae
Conservation Status
Least Concern
Bird Species