English for Agriculture - Beginners and Intermediate

Ducks

A male duck is called a drake.

A female duck is called a hen.

A baby duck is called a duckling.

A group of ducks is called a flock.

The duck's mouth is called a bill.

Ducks are birds. They are also called "waterfowls" because they are normally found in places with open water, like ponds, marshes, wetlands, lakes and rivers. They are related to geese and swans. The duck is the smallest of them all. Ducks also have shorter necks and wings and a stronger body. They can live from 2-12 years, depending on breed. Ducks have a thick body that is good for swimming and keeping body heat when they are in water. Their plumage is created for not to get wet even when they are inside the water. This helps them not to get cold so easily. Their legs are set far back on their body, that is why they walk so strange but this is good for swimming. Ducks have webbed feet that are perfect for swimming and diving. Their webbed feet act like paddles for the ducks. Some ducks travel longs distances every year to breed. Usually they travel to warmer areas or where the water does not freeze so that they can rest and raise their young. The distance may be thousands of miles away. Ducks are found everywhere in the world except the Antarctica which is too cold for them. Ducks, like other animals, are useful to human beings. These animals are important to humans because they provide us with eggs and meat to eat. Some ducks provide us with feathers which are used for stuffing quilts and pillows. In many areas, foreign species of ducks are introduced to parks and gardens because of their exotic beauty, and in some cases these ducks can become invasive and problematic for native ducks.  

How they hunt for food?

The shape of the bill and body features will determine how the duck hunt for its food. Based on how they hunt. We can separate them in three types of ducks: the shovelers, sea ducks, and dabbling ducks.

The shovelers. These ducks have thick bills and eat insects, snails and seeds from the mud.

Sea ducks or diving ducks, they eat fishes. Some ducks have long and narrow bills. 

Dabbling ducks do not dive for food. Their bill is broad and short. They eat plants, seeds, grasses, small insects and animals that they find on or under the water.


Curious facts about ducks

Ducks keep clean by grooming themselves. They do this by being able to turn their heads completely backwards, and putting their bills into the feathers on their wings, breast and back. 

The production of eggs is affected by daylight. When there is more daylight, the ducks will lay more eggs. 

Ducklings are able to fly within 5-8 weeks.

Ducks usually look for a mate or partner in winter. 

The duck's feet cannot feel cold even if it swims in icy cold water because its feet have no nerves or blood vessels!

The males use their colorful plumage to attract females.

When the ducks fly, they usually do so in a "V-shaped" formation or a long line.

Most of the farm ducks are of a breed called "Pekin”.

Most ducks can take off nearly vertically from either land or water. 

Last modified: Wednesday, 9 March 2016, 11:27 PM
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