Duck Fact-a-roonies

The Record (Troy, NY) - - COMMUNITY -

• Div­ing ducks have small wings and must pad­dle along the wa­ter to pick up speed to take off. Their wings are so small that they can’t take off from land. • Dab­bling ducks have larger wings and can take off straight up. • Ducks can see and hear bet­ter than hu­mans. But their senses of smell and taste are poor. • Ducks have two lay­ers of feath­ers. The thick top layer helps the duck fly. Un­der that layer is the fluffy down. • Ducks also have a spe­cial gland that pro­duces oil, which they rub through their feath­ers us­ing their bill. This is called preen­ing. If ducks could not preen, their feath­ers would get soaked with wa­ter and they couldn’t fly well. • Ducks have webbed feet that help them swim. How­ever, their swim­ming legs are not good walk­ing legs. That’s why they wad­dle when they walk. • Fe­male ducks are called hens. Males are called drakes, and ba­bies are called duck­lings.

Mal­lards (left) and black-necked stilt

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