50 Interesting Facts About Ducks

Last updated on May 20th, 2023

39. Foie gras is a staple in French cuisine. The rich buttery flavor comes from fatty duck liver, developed through ancient Egyptian techniques from 2,500 BC. Restaurants may serve it whole or use it to enhance steak and other food items.

40. In Southeast Asian countries, developing duck eggs are boiled and sold as street food. Filipinos call it balut, with historians tracing its origins to China. The Vietnamese believe these eggs are a good source of nutrients for pregnant women.

41. DNA sequencing found that domestic ducks come from a single source during the New Stone Age, most likely in the rice paddies of Southern China. They spread out to Central China and Southeast Asia as farmers increasingly relied on their meat and eggs.

Three white ducks
Photo © Singhsomendra

42. Domestic ducks behave differently from their wild cousins. They are less aggressive and territorial. They also became promiscuous. Despite their divergence, domestic and wild ducks can mate and produce fertile offspring.

43. Ancient Egyptians and Romans hunted ducks extensively but did not domesticate the birds. Records suggest that Romans only tamed them. However, they needed to harvest eggs from the wild each time to build duck farms.

44. Duck netting is a non-competitive sport played by the Imperial House of Japan and its guests, including Charles III of the UK and John D. Rockefeller III. Participants use a long pole with a large net to catch ducks. They used to cook the captured birds. Now they release them after the game.

45. Every year, large sea ducks nest on the Norwegian island of Lanan. Locals provide them with shelter and protection. The birds reward their effort by leaving empty nests filled with eiderdown – the warmest, lightest, and most expensive down. Duvets filled with this material can cost $15,000.


46. A few European towns have ducks on their regional symbols. The coat of arms has a golden duck floating on wavy blue waters in Lubāna, Latvia. Three flying ducks in a diagonal array represent the municipality of Föglö, while black ducks on a gold stripe embody Maaninka in Finland.

ducks crossing the road
Photo © Michael Rubin

47. A 2002 large-scale study on humor called LaughLab attempted to find the best jokes and determine what made them effective. Researchers from the University of Hertfordshire in the UK concluded that ducks generated the best response among all animals.

48. Several fictional ducks are household names. Walt Disney introduced Donald Duck as a mischievous and temperamental character in 1934. Meanwhile, Warner Brothers presented the assertive and unrestrained protagonist Daffy Duck in 1937.

49. In 1986, the movie Howard the Duck played in theaters starring Lea Thompson, Tim Robbins, and Jeffrey Jones. It came from a Marvel comic book character with the same name. George Lucas, fresh from Star Wars, served as executive director.

50. In 1992, Disney released a hockey film entitled The Mighty Ducks. The youth sports drama starring Emilio Estevez depicted ducks as fierce fighters, with the team channeling their indomitable spirit in every game.