The Magpie Duck (Anas platyrhynchos) is a bird in the Anatidae family of domestic mallard ducks.

The Magpie Duck stands erect with a moderately long neck and a broad, heavy body. It is white with distinctive black markings. It has two large black areas on its back and black on the top of its head, which are the colours of the Magpie bird.

As it ages, the black cap is usually replaced with flecks, and then becomes completely white. Its beak is yellow or orange, and becomes greenish with age. Its eyes are small and dark. Its legs and feet are orange. The male has curled tail feathers and the female has straight tail feathers.

Magpie Duck

It grows to about 33 centimetres (13 inches) tall. 

It is a British breed. It prefers wetlands, especially shallow bodies of water. 

The Magpie Duck is omnivorous, eating a varied diet. It does not dive for food. Instead, it forages at muddy edges of lakes or ponds, and also on land. It eats seeds and aquatic animals, such as crabs, slugs, snails, and water insects.

It is seen in pairs or small groups. The male is called a drake and the female is called a duck. The female builds a nest in tree stumps using vegetation, and lays 6-8 eggs, which hatch after 25-27 days. The female looks after her young, called ducklings.

It lives for 9-12 years.

Magpie Duck

Location of photographs: Tbilisi, Georgia

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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