Do you want to learn about the types of ducks found in Moldova?
Well, you’ve come to the right place. As you will see, there are all kinds of colorful, beautiful, and odd-looking ducks here!
In this article, you will find descriptions, photos, and RANGE MAPS for each species. I’ve also included some fun facts about these incredible water birds. 🙂
4 types of ducks in Moldova!
- Anas platyrhynchos
- Males have a bright green head, thin white collar, dark reddish-brown chest, yellow bill, and a black rump with a white-tipped tail.
- Females are mottled brown with orange and brown bills.
- Both sexes have purple-blue secondary feathers on their wings, most visible when standing or flying.
My guess is that almost everyone is familiar with the Mallard. These ducks are the most common species in Moldova!
Mallards are extremely comfortable around people, which is why these adaptable ducks are widespread. They are found in virtually any wetland habitat, regardless of location.
Mallards readily accept artificial structures built for them by humans. If you have a nice pond or a marsh, feel free to put up a homemade nesting area to enjoy some adorable ducklings walking around your property! Make sure you put up predator guards so predators can’t get to the eggs.
When you think of a duck quacking, it is almost inevitably a female Mallard. If there is a better duck sound, we haven’t heard it! Interestingly, males do not quack like females but, instead, make a raspy call.
#2. Wood Duck
- Aix sponsa
- Males have very intricate plumage. Look for the green crested head, red eyes, and chestnut breast with white flecks.
- Females have brown bodies with grayish head, which is also slightly crested. They also have a white teardrop eye patch and a blue patch on the wing.
Walt Disney used to say that “the world is a carousel of color,” and few waterfowl have taken this more to heart than the male Wood Duck. It looks like an artist used every color available to paint a duck! Green, red, orange, lime, yellow, buff, rose, brown, tan, black, white, gray, purple, and blue coloring are all common.
This is one of the few duck species in Moldova you may see in a tree! Wood Ducks use abandoned tree cavities for nesting but also readily take to elevated nesting boxes.
When hatchlings leave the nest for the first time, they often have to make a giant leap of faith of up to 15 m (50 feet) to the ground below! You have to watch the video below to believe it. 🙂
Interestingly, Wood Ducks are perfectly evolved for their life spent in trees. Their claws are powerful, which allows them to perch and grasp onto branches!
The most common sound heard from Wood Ducks is when they are disturbed. I’ve often accidentally come upon them only to hear them flying away saying “ooeek-ooeek” loudly!
#3. Mandarin Duck
- Aix galericulata
- Males have a red bill, blue-green feathers flanked by white on the head, and reddish feathers on the neck that fan out like a beard. In addition, they have purple chests and brown “sails” that stick out from their wings.
- Females are mottled gray-brown with a small patch of blue or purple feathers behind the wings.
The Mandarin Duck is native to East Asia. However, this duck took hold in Moldova as escaped pets grew into feral colonies in the wild. Now, there are various established populations of this species.
These adaptable birds change their diet depending on the season, eating what’s most readily available. For example, in the spring and summer, they concentrate on eating insects and fish, and some aquatic plants. Then, they switch to foraging for seeds and acorns in the fall and winter. That’s the best way to ensure they always have something to eat!
Male Mandarin Ducks have unusual wing feathers that stick up and look like boat sails as they float on the water. Combined with their brilliant colors, this species is made to stand out in a crowd.
However, even with their bright coloring and unusual shape, it can be hard to spot a Mandarin Duck. These waterfowl will almost always hide from humans unless they’ve become tame. Populations in parks and other public areas may be less skittish than those in unpopulated areas.
#4. Muscovy Duck
- Cairina moschata
- Both sexes are black and white, but the pattern of color is highly variable. Adults have bare skin on their faces, which looks like a pink mask. Their bills can be yellow, pink, black, or a combination of these colors.
- Males’ black feathers are iridescent, giving off a greenish sheen in the sunlight.
- Females lack the green tint and are usually more drab looking.
Identifying the Muscovy Duck can be challenging because this domesticated breed has many color variations. The easiest way to tell if you’ve seen this species is by its size since it’s larger than other ducks in Moldova.
Muscovy Ducks are native to South America, where they’ve been domesticated since the pre-Columbian era by Native Americans. They are bred primarily as a food source. They were originally brought to Moldova as farming stock, but some Muscovy Ducks escaped and established feral colonies in the wild. Interestingly, this breed is the ONLY domesticated duck that isn’t a descendant of the Mallard!
Today, there are feral populations of Muscovy Ducks found all over the world. In combination with wild subspecies, it’s one of the most widespread ducks. Their tolerance for cold weather and human presence makes them the perfect species for population growth, even outside their natural habitat. Look for Muscovy Ducks alongside lakes, rivers, and ponds in populated areas.
Do you need more help identifying ducks in Europe?
These titles will provide you with more information!
Which of these ducks in Moldova have you seen before?
Leave a comment below!