Muscovy ducks in South Florida

Muscovy Ducks are a common sight in south Florida. I grew up in the Hollywood Florida area and can remember seeing these duck around in every neighborhood I’ve ever lived in.

“Jamie Feddersen, FWC’s program coordinator for waterfowl and small game, estimates there are ‘tens of thousands’ in the state, with high concentrations in urban areas such as South Florida.”


Muscovy ducks do not look like your television or children’s book duck. Male ducks are quite big. Their faces are covered with a red mountain like surface. simply put they do not look friendly. When I was a child I was not fond of these animals. Back then I was afraid of these ducks.

“The male Muscovy Duck is the largest duck in North America”. – a

Although I was not friendly with these animals I did not partake in harming them but many Floridians do. Neigbors in my community find them to be a nuance. They feel these ducks habit of leaving big dropping where ever they go is intolerable. Althought they do not make any noise, are not known to carry any diseases that are harmful to humans, and are not aggressive, I have witnessed may people attack or kill these ducks.

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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.

Florida Health

Living in New England for almost a decade has given me a new attitude towards the Muscovies. My neighborhood in Boston did not have many wild animals. There were some squirrel, skunks and small birds such as peagons But I would not interact with any of them. So seeing the Muscovy now is semi-nestalgic for me.

“One of the oldest domesticated fowl species in the world, the Muscovy Duck was already being kept by native people in Peru and Paraguay when the early Spanish explorers arrived. The word “Muscovy” may refer to the Muscovy Company (incorporated in London in 1555), which transported these ducks to England and France.”

As a kid I enjoyed fishing. When I would go fishing there were always plenty Muscovy ducks around. I used to fish for Catfish with bread as a lure. When I would do this the Muscovies would surround me, begging for bread. I would be hesitant to feed them because if you give them food they will follow you around.

” Aztec rulers wore cloaks made from the feathers of the Muscovy Duck, which was considered the totem animal of the Wind God, ‘Ehecatl’.”

In my mothers backyard at her home in Sunrise Florida I have found a small population of these ducks ( about 5 or so). I notice there was one particular duck that was a chocolate brown. This captured my attention because in all my life I have never seen an all brown Muscovy. Typically these birds have some white feathers. That inspired me to start taking pictures of the back yard community that surrounds our backyard lake.

For more information on Muscovy ducks please visit

Written by 

The Armani.

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