Goodness! It’s already the 2nd month of the year 2018. How time flies as we move to this month’s Animal Ambassador! The lucky duckling this month, is Boba! The Call Duck!
Zovargo was lucky enough to have her when she was just a three week old baby duckling, and we have been raising her since! It’s now been close to a year and she’s joined the team as one of our newest Animal Ambassadors.
Call Ducks have such incredible super powers! Did you know that they’re almost waterproof? Like most Avian species, they have the ability to clean their feathers, keeping them nice and tidy with the use of their Preen Gland. However, waterfowl (birds that live on the water) are more specialized for their water habitats, and apply an oil to their feathers that allow water to bounce right off even when they dive in underwater!
The Call Duck is a domestic species and is not found in the wild. As early as the 1600's hunters have been using ducks as decoys to lure wild ducks in for hunting. The hunters were determined to breed the smallest, loudest duck they could and by the early 1900's the Call duck was formally established. However, better hunting techniques are now established that are easier to maintain than keeping ducks. Today, the Call Duck is no longer used for hunting, but rather known as a show duck or simply a "pet" kept on ponds.
Call Ducks are indeed the smallest of all duck species today and having been bred to have small beaks and super round faces, one could argue that they indeed are the cutest. It's hard to resist smiling when you see (or hear) a Call Duck.
Our ambassador duck Boba excels in instilling the tenderness of what conservation can be when she meets new people. She's energetic, and always super enthusiastic when it comes to getting her favorite treat (meal worms) while out at a programs!
Did you know that it's not good to feed ducks at your local pond? Wild ducks need to stay WILD! By feeding your local ducks, it teaches them that humans are a food source and well - all wild animals should not depend on people for food.
Also, if you can't resist and must feed wild ducks, please don't feed them bread! You should stick to more natural food items that we probably already have in our refrigerator --- lettuce! Another great alternative is simply feeding ducks duck food. You can get this food from your local farm/feed store.
On a final note, baby ducks may be cute, but chasing them can cause the mother and babies to get separated. When this happens it's unlikely the babies will have the courage to run across the park to their mother and often this is a sad end for baby ducks. So, we'll say it again - as cute as wild ducklings are - admire them from a distance. Leave nature to be as it is.
We hope that by sharing these important tips, you can help protect wild ducks all over and keep them safe, healthier, and happy!
Bonus Fun Fact: Call Ducks are able to clearly see underwater as their eyes work almost like a wide angle lens being able to refract more light as water is denser than air!