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Of ducks and chicks

Eastern bluebird mother duck with chicks white tailed deer Raindrops

6/19/2009 -- Of ducks and chicks

Yellow ducklingHi-larious! We are not the only ones having trouble telling ducks and chicken (and geese for that matter) apart: "I wanted a duck and ended up having a goose in the freezer, what now?" :))

I was fairly sure to be able to tell a duck from a goose, but I learned even this is not as easy as it seems. See for example these pictures on Wikipedia of a "Greylag goose" and some ducks . However, if you get close enough, quick enough, here is a good hint for distinction (answer to a seriously meant question ...): "Duck tastes better and is not as fat." :).

DucklingsAnyway, the picture to the right explains why we came to this question after all: besides yellow fluffy chicks, there are also yellow fluffy ducklings. Unfortunately, they seem to have a pretty isolated childhood if you ask me (and look at the picture; in fact, that's not far-fetched: we watched them for quite a while and the 'stranger' was always a bit separated).

Three ducklings

In short what we figured out, just if somebody's interested (not that we expect that ...): there are Mallards (wild ducks, with brownish ducklings), and domestic ducks, with yellow ducklings. Issue is, that they cannot tell their species apart either and breed with each other - which produces families including ducklings with "yellow genes" - which (as we read ) are not to be confused with albinos, but mostly grow up to be white ducks.

So far for the ducks. For the geese - they are just in the same family as ducks.

Join in next time on a lesson about swans, which are part of the same big family, but which complicate matters only slightly.

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