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Look! An adorable plump of ducklings!
Look! An adorable plump of ducklings!

There are a few basic qualities that come to mind when you think about ducks. Waterproof feathers? Check. Webbed feet? Check. Adorable waddle? Check. But there’s more to the common duck than meets the eye. Take a minute to learn a few new facts about everyone’s favorite pond-dweller. 

1. Duck quacks do echo!

 Thanks to an urban legend, many believe that a duck’s signature sound doesn’t produce reverberations. A study at the University of Salford (with the help of a duck named Daisy) has proven this to be false.  

2. Speaking of quacks: most male ducks don’t!

 The quacking sound that we associate with ducks comes from hens – drakes can whistle, growl, croak, purr, squeak, hoot or be totally silent.

3. A group of ducks is called a paddling, a plump or even (if they’re on the water) a raft!

Like other birds, a group of ducks can also be called a flock. But that’s boring. 

4. Ducks can walk (and leap) just a few hours after hatching!

Watch as the king of the natural world, David Attenborough, narrates these Mandarin duckling’s feats of daring.

5. Ducks can let one half of their brain sleep while the other stays awake.

Called unihemispheric slow-wave sleep, it allows ducks to keep an eye open for predators while they catch a few zs.

We’re duck fans here at Heifer. Because they’re cool, yes, but mostly because a flock of ducks can help a farming family lift themselves out of poverty. And you can help! Give a family a flock of ducks and the training to care for them today. 

Give a flock of ducks


Bethany Ivie

Bethany Ivie has been with Heifer International's Little Rock staff since March 2014.