Muscovy Duck

Muscovy Duck


Profile Muscovy Duck     Literature page Muscovy

Profile Muscovy Duck

[order] Anseriformes | [family] Anatidae | [latin] Cairina moschata | [UK] Muscovy Duck | [FR] Canard musqué | [DE] Moschusente | [ES] Pato Criollo | [IT] Anatra muta | [NL] Muskuseend


Muskuseend determination

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Muscovy ducks are brownish-black in coloration with iridescent green and purple dorsal plumage and white wing patches. The legs and feet are grayish-black and the iris is yellowish-brown. Males and females are similar in appearance; however, males are nearly twice as large as females. In addition, males have a patch of bare black skin surrounded by pinkish-red caruncles (fleshy outgrowths) which extends from the back of the eye to the bill.

Muscovies prefer wetlands near forested areas and nest in tree cavities or nest boxes

Estimated to have between 100,000-1,000,000 individuals. Currently populations are thought to be declining. Despite a wide distribution, the muscovy duck is only locally common in less populated areas in the eastern part of its range as a result of hunting and habitat loss.

Muscovy ducks feed on the roots, stems, leaves, and seeds of aquatic and terrestrial plants, including agricultural crops. They also eat small fishes, reptiles, crustaceans, insects, millipedes, and termites

This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 14,000,000 km². It has a large global population estimated to be 100,000-1,000,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2002). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern. [conservation status from]

The muscovy duck is found in all parts of the world in a domesticated state. Its chief breeding range in the wild includes Central America and northern South America. In North America, muscovies are found locally in Mexico and a small population inhabits southern Texas at the extreme northern edge of its range. Muscovies prefer wetlands near forested areas and nest in tree cavities or nest boxes laying an average of 8 eggs.

Muscovy ducks are sedentary and do not have established migration patterns. However, they may move in response to fluctuating water conditions. Muscovy ducks are endemic to the Neotropical Realm. They are widespread and fairly common in tropical regions of Mexico, Central America, and South America west of the Andes south to Ecuador, and east of the Andes south to northern Argentina and Uruguay. Originally form South America, some escaped birds have settled on the European continent.


  1. Measurements
  2. spanwidth min.: 38 cm
  3. spanwidth max.: 48 cm
  4. size min.: 25 cm
  5. size max.: 31 cm
  6. Breeding
  7. incubation min.: 35 days
  8. incubation max.: 37 days
  9. fledging min.: 55 days
  10. fledging max.: 65 days
  11. broods 3
  12. eggs min.: 13
  13. eggs max.: 16
  14. Conservation Status


  1. Asarcornis moschata
  2. Cairina moschata
  3. NA, LA s Texas to n Argentina


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