How to tell the differences between male and female ducks? It is a very common question people often ask, especially the beginners who are new in raising ducks.
There are some differences between male and female ducks. But the differences between male and female ducks will not be readily obvious, depending on the duck species.
Although if you know what to listen and look for, then you will be better able to tell a male duck from female ducks. And this is much easier for the experts, but pretty difficult for the beginners.
If you follow the methods mentioned in this guide, you will definitely be able to tell the differences between male and female ducks.
Differences Between Male And Female Ducks
There are actually four principal ways for recognizing a duck’s gender. And these ways are sound, behavior, external appearance and internal anatomy.
However, here we are describing more about the differences between male and female ducks.
In many duck species, the male ducks have more colorful feathers and bills. And the females generally exhibit duller colors.
For example, the male Mallard ducks have glossy green heads, bright yellow bills and bodies of brown, gray and black.
Whereas the female Mallards have an orange and brown bill and a mottled-brown body color.
The male Mallard ducks have white tail feathers and a black-tail-curl that females lack.
The Northern Shoveler male ducks have a white chest with chestnut flank, but the females have a brownish speckled body.
In many species, the male ducks will have very bright coloration in their plumage for attracting mates during the mating season.
And the males will molt and lose their bright coloration after mating season, and resemble a female.
Observing the bill color is another way to tell the differences between male and female ducks.
The bill color doesn’t change during the mating season in many duck species. In case of Mallard ducks, the bill color of the males is bright yellow and the females have a brown and orange bill.
The Mottled male ducks have a bill that is a solid olive green to yellow color.
And the female’s bill is brown to orange with dark spotches. The male Wood ducks have a red bill that has a patch of yellow at the bottom.
Curled Feather Near the Tail
The male ducks will generally have an upwardly curled feather near their tail.
In males this feather will become noticeable in male ducks when they are aged between 2 and 4 months, and remains after molting. The females generally don’t have this feather.
Check the Vent
Ducks’ reproductive organs are inside their bodies. So, telling the males apart from the females takes a little more expertise if you’re attempting to make a distinction based on the plumbing.
Although, it’s possible to roll a duck over and turn its vent outward so you can see the organs. Unless you’ve had experience doing this, checking a duck’s vent to determine gender is best left to the vet.
In most duck species, the males are generally larger than the females.
The female ducks generally have a hard and loud quack than the males. And the males generally have rough and soft quack.
The male and female ducks look alike in some duck breeds during certain seasons, for example during breeding season. Freckled duck is one such breed.
The males and the females have identical feathers, but the male sports a red color on his bill during breeding.
There are some behavioral differences between male and female ducks. The male ducks generally have a wide variety of species-and gender-specific behaviors that differ from those of their female counterparts.
For example, male Mallard ducks court females by bobbing their heads from one side to the other (glancing over their shoulders or flapping their wings as they raise up above the water).
The Mallard will make threatening moves with an open bill and an acrobatic chase, when confronted by another male.
The male Bufflehead ducks attract females by flying overhead and then skidding to a halt on the water, raising their crests and bobbing their heads.
How To Tell The Differences Easily In All Breeds
In most duck breeds, the differences between male and female ducks are easily identified. You can easily identify males and females if you are raising ducks for few years.
- The male ducks are generally more colorful than the female ducks.
- In case of size, the males are generally larger than the females.
- The males of most species have a prominent curled feather near the tail, which is not present in the tail of females.
- Male ducks have softer and and harsher quack, while the females have distinctive loud quack.
- The males have an extended or elongated genital organ whereas females have a cone-like genital organ.
- The female ducks are known as hens or simply ducks, while the male ducks are known as drakes.
- These are the common differences between male and female ducks. You will be able to differentiate males and females easily if you raise them for long time.
Frequently Asked Questions
People also ask some other questions related to distinguishing male and female ducks. Here we are trying to answer some of these questions.
What are male and female duck colors differences?
It actually depend on the breed. Not all the duck breeds are same in coloration. But in most breeds, the males are more bright and colorful than the females.
Male vs female duck behavior, any differences?
Yes, there are differences in their behavior. For example, male Mallard ducks court females by bobbing their heads from one side to the other. They will make threatening moves with an open bill and an acrobatic chase, when confronted by another male.The male Bufflehead ducks attract females by flying overhead and then skidding to a halt on the water, raising their crests and bobbing their heads.
What is a female duck called?
A female is called a duck (or in ornithology a hen), and a male duck is called a drake.
What are the difference between male and female mallard ducks?
Almost the same we have already mentioned above. The male mallard ducks have a dark, iridescent-green head and bright yellow bil. Their body is gray which is sandwiched between a brown breast and black rear. While the females are mottled brown in coloration with orange and brown bills. Both males and females have a white-bordered, blue ‘speculum’ patch in their wing.
What color are female ducks?
It depends on the duck breed and widely vary from breed to breed. Regardless of the breed, the females are less colorful than the males.
What color are male ducks?
Widely vary form breed to breed. But generally the male ducks are more colorful than the females.
What is a male duck called?
A male is called a drake.
What does a male duck look like?
You will be able to tale the differences between a male and female duck if you look for a curled feather near the tail. This system is effective for most of the duck breeds. Males of most of the duck breeds have this distinct feature. Male ducks are also bigger in size than the female ducks.
What are the differences between male and female Pekin ducks?
There are very little differences between male and female Pekin ducks. But the easiest way to distinguish them, is by looking at their curled feather near the tail. Males have such curled feather near the tail.
How to tell the difference between male and female Cayuga ducks?
You can easily tell the difference by closely observing their tail features. The males have curled feather near the tail. They are also more bright and colorful than the females.
What is the difference between female and male Rouen ducks?
The male ducks are more colorful than the females. And the male ducks have curled feather near their tail.
What are the difference between male and female Khaki Campbell ducks?
The male Khaki Campbell ducks have darker brown heads, necks, backs and tails. But the females are uniformly light brown in coloration.
What are the difference between male and female Muscovy ducks?
Muscovies have caruncles, which are large, red fleshy parts around their beaks and eyes that are similar in appearance to the wattle of turkeys. Males tend to grow their caruncles before females and these typically grow to be larger. The males are much bigger in size than the females.
What are the difference between male and female white ducks?
You can easily distinguish male and female white ducks by looking at the curled feature near their tail.
What is a group of duck eggs called?
A group of duck eggs is called a clutch. In ducks, the clutch size can vary from 3 to 12 eggs.
What is a lot of ducks called?
A group of ducks can be called a raft of ducks, a team of ducks, or a paddling of ducks.
What is a baby duck called?
The baby ducks are called as duckling.
These are the steps and ways to distinguish male and female ducks. You will gradually learn more and be able to tell the differences between a male and a female duck after seeing it for the first time. But it will need more time and more experience in raising ducks. Hope this guide has helped you! Good luck & may God bless you!