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The Muscovy duck (Cairina moschata) | by surferjaws
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The Muscovy duck (Cairina moschata)

The Muscovy duck (Cairina moschata) is a large duck native to Mexico, Central, and South America. Small wild and feral breeding populations have established themselves in the United States, particularly in the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas and Florida as well as in many other parts of North America, including southern Canada. Feral Muscovy ducks are found in New Zealand, Australia, and in parts of Europe.

 

 

They are a large duck, with the males about 76 cm (30 in) long, and weighing up to 7 kg (15 lb). Females are considerably smaller, and only grow to 3 kg (6.6 lb), roughly half the males' size. The bird is predominantly black and white, with the back feathers being iridescent and glossy in males, while the females are more drab. The amount of white on the neck and head is variable, as well as the bill, which can be yellow, pink, black, or any mixture of these. They may have white patches or bars on the wings, which become more noticeable during flight. Both sexes have pink or red wattles around the bill, those of the male being larger and more brightly colored.

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Taken on May 5, 2016