Malaysian Duck Species
Duck is the common name for birds from the sub family Anatinae. It is the largest group of waterfowl (aquatic birds), and are normally found near water areas such as ponds, streams and rivers. They may be found in both fresh and saltwater areas. Ducks are related to swans and geese and are the smallest of them in size.
Ducks can live from 2 to 12 years, depending on species. The female incubates and rears the young. They have webbed feet which acts as paddles when they swim. Because of the webbed feet, ducks waddles instead of walks.
Ducks thrive on a variety of food sources like grass, aquatic plants, insects, fish and others. They breed quite easily, and have a lot of economic potential. There are now duck-based industries that farm and breed ducks for their meat, eggs and feathers.
The Common Teal or Teal (Anas crecca) is common and widespread in Asia. This migratory duck spends the winters south to Africa and South Asia. Is is usually between 34 cm to 38 cm in length with a wingspan between 53 cm and 59 cm. The male has grey flanks and back, with a yellow rear end and a white-edged green speculum. The head is chestnut in colour with a green eye patch. The female is usually light brown. The common teal can be distinguished from most ducks by size and shape and the speculum (inner flight feathers) which is green. It commonly inhibits sheltered areas of wetlands and some tall vegetation. It usually feeds on plants. Their nests sit on the ground near water and under cover.
The White-winged Wood Duck (Cairina Scutulata) is a species of dabbling ducks from the genus Cairina. This species is highly endangered, with a very small population numbering in the hundreds scattered around South-East Asia, India, Bangladesh and Myanmar. This species live deep in the forest, near pools and marshes, nesting high in the trees. The White-winged Wood Ducks feed mainly at night on seeds, grains, rice, snails and fish. They have white head and neck with black spots. The bill is orange, mottle with black. The wings are tipped with white. The female is smaller than the male.
The Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) is a slender duck with long neck. The males can be differentiated from the females by their size and colour. The males are larger, with brown head, white neck and underparts, a greyish back and sides and long black, pointed central tail feathers. The smaller females have brownish head, grey bill and a slightly pointed tail. This species is common and widespread, often flocking in large groups. They prefer to reside near marshes and ponds. The Northern Pintail grazes on vegetation and the males are more aggressive than the females.
The Shoveler or Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata) is widespread and breeds in the northern areas of Europe and Asia. It migrates to the south during the winter season. They can be found in small flocks. The species is distinguished by its large spatulate bill. The male has a green head, white breast and chestnut belly and flanks. The females are light brown with long broad bill and grey forewing. They flock in open wetlands and feed on plant food, using the bill to strain food from the water. They also eat mollusks and insects in the nesting season. The nest is usually close to water, formed by a shallow depression on the ground and lined with grass and feathers.
The Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) is a type of duck from the cormorant family measuring 77cm to 79cm in length with a wingspan of 121 cm to 149 cm. It breeds mainly near coastlines. This species makes its nest from seaweed or twigs, usually on cliffs or in trees and feeds on a wide variety of fish caught at sea, rivers or estuaries. It is black in colour and has a longish tail with yellow throat patch.