• Skip to Content
  • Skip to Main Navigation
  • Skip to Local Navigation
  • Skip to Search
  • Skip to Sitemap
  • Skip to Footer

Muscovy Duck

Cairina moschata ORDER: ANSERIFORMES FAMILY: ANATIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

The strange, warty-faced Muscovy Duck causes confusion for some bird watchers, as it's very distinctive and quite commonly seen, yet does not appear in some field guides. Truly wild individuals are restricted to south Texas and points south, but domesticated versions occur in parks and farms across much of North America. Wild Muscovy Ducks are glossy black with bold white wing patches and are forest dwellers that nest in tree cavities. Their range expanded into Texas in the 1980s; feral populations also exist in Florida.

Calls

Muscovy Ducks are usually silent. Females give a quiet quack or croak when frightened and a soft shrill call to communicate with ducklings. Males hiss and puff during courtship.

Search the Macaulay Library online archive for more sounds and videos

Find This Bird

Across much of central or southern North America, a trip to a local farm or park has a reasonable chance of turning up a domesticated Muscovy Duck. Their plumage can be extremely variable, but look for the largest, longest-necked ducks and check their faces for red, warty facial skin. If you want to see a truly wild Muscovy Duck, visit the Rio Grande Valley of Texas or forested wetlands in Mexico and the tropical Americas. The highest numbers in the U.S. are found along the Rio Grande in Starr County, between Falcon Dam and Roma.

×

Search

Or Browse Bird Guide by Family, Name or Shape
×
bird image Blue-winged Warbler by Brian Sullivan

The Cornell Lab will send you updates about birds, birding, and opportunities to help bird conservation. You can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell or give your email address to others.