Sunday, January 11, 2009

Muscovy Duck...

To Bird Girl...

Barb you asked about a bird in my post called Crane's Roost and the Little Blue Heron...

In the first picture there is a duck hiding in the shadows. It is called the Muscovy duck and I could never get him/her to come out for a shot. So I did some research for you, and me, and got you an answer. Research from MyFWC.com. Everything from this point and below is from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Enjoy...




Feral, domestic muscovies are abundant in Florida, particularly in residential and park situations. These birds were released primarily by private individuals for ornamental purposes or as pets. Domestic muscovies continue to create nuisance problems throughout the state. To our knowledge, no populations of wild-strain muscovies have been established in Florida.



Muscovies are protected by Florida Statute 828.12 regarding animal cruelty. However, because these birds originated in Florida from domestic stock, they are not considered "wildlife." Therefore, they are not protected by state wildlife laws nor laws set forth by the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Muscovy ducks have been introduced into urban and suburban areas in Florida where they often occur in high densities. Muscovies can be extremely prolific, and local populations, if uncontrolled, can increase dramatically in a short time. As a result, controversies frequently arise between residents who enjoy the birds and residents who consider them a nuisance.




Domestic or captive-reared ducks, such as muscovies, can transmit disease to wild waterfowl. All confirmed outbreaks of DVE, also known as duck plague (a sometimes-devastating viral infection), in wild waterfowl have been linked to domestic or captive-raised waterfowl. Fowl cholera is another serious disease that is transmittable between domestic and wild waterfowl. Although we have had no major outbreaks reported yet in Florida, the potential for muscovies to spread disease to wild waterfowl remains a biological concern.




People often wonder about moving the problem muscovies to other areas. We consider feral domestic ducks to be undesirable in the wild because of their potential to transmit diseases to or interbreed with Florida's native waterfowl. To minimize these problems, Florida Statute 372.265 prohibits the release of exotic animals, including muscovies. Therefore, relocating muscovies into a wild situation is not a legitimate or appropriate solution to nuisance problems. You could, however, move muscovies to a captive situation where they would not come into contact with wildlife and would not escape.




Muscovy ducks, like other domestic animals, are considered private property. If someone claims ownership, the birds are the owner's to do with as he or she pleases, so long as Florida Statute 828.12 regarding animal cruelty is not violated. Similarly, if the muscovies have no owner, no state or federal law prohibits their capture and humane euthanization. This can be a last resort to resolve a nuisance problem.

8 comments:

Shellmo said...

I think they're beautiful - I hope no one euthanizes them!

Tina said...

Craig,
I am learning a lot from your research! Muscovy ducks..have to look for them next time I am in Fl! Thanks!!

Leedra said...

From what I understood from naturalist (in Fla) when a bird is not protected by the wildlife laws the eggs can be taken out of the nest and shook, then place them back. They won't hatch. Just one way of controlling. This is for any bird that has been introduced into North America but not protected. Just have to be sure the bird that is your nuisance is NOT a protected bird before you do this.

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Photography By Leedra

dAwN said...

Oh I have been seeing a few of those ducks here in Lake worth part of Florida...strange looking things..

Salty said...

Back when I was a kid growing up on the farm mother kept a flock of white muscovies. Each winter we cull the flock for table fare.

Bird Girl said...

Good research - I saw some of these ducks when I was at Emerald Isle last summer - walking around the parking lot like they owned the place - funny!
Thanks!

Anonymous said...

they are wonderful birds they might be messy but they also help keep the mosquitos and spiders under control. most are friendly and if you are lucky you might find one who might eat out of your hand and be very gentle. trust me i will miss my brat who would eat from the palm of my hand very carefully and will always remember you and all the rest who have died in the past few weeks

Anonymous said...

We live on a canal in New Orleans and have loved three muscovy ducks that live along its bank. Sadly one was eaten last fall and we found the remains of a second this a.m. Neighbors think it may be a coyote who has had the meal. I would like to protect the remaining duck and thought we might try and move him to a farm or another pond area where there are others of his kind. Any suggestions?? I am very fond these ducks and don't wont the last to meet the fact of his two buddies. Thanks for any advise.