A group of ducks can be called a raft of ducks, a team of ducks, or a paddling of ducks.
All ducks have highly waterproof feathers as a result of an intricate feather structure and a waxy coating that is spread on each feather while preening. A duck's feathers are so waterproof that even when the duck dives underwater, its downy under layer of feathers will stay completely dry.
Ducks are precocial, which means that ducklings are covered with down and able to walk and leave the nest just a few hours after hatching.
A hen will lead her ducklings up to a half mile or more over land after hatching in order to find a suitable water source for swimming and feeding.
Male ducks have an eclipse plumage similar to females that they wear after the breeding season for about a month as their new feathers grow. During that month, they are completely flightless and more vulnerable to predators.
Most duck species are monogamous for breeding season but they do not mate for life.
When constructing her nest, a hen will line it with soft down feathers she plucks from her own breast. This gives the eggs the best possible cushioning and insulation.
Ducks are omnivorous, opportunistic eaters and will eat grass, aquatic plants, insects, seeds, fruit, fish, crustaceans and other types of food.
A duck's bill is specialized to help it forage in mud and to strain food from the water. A hard nail at the tip of the bill helps with foraging, and a comb-like structure on the sides of the bill strains small insects and crustaceans from water.
Most male ducks are silent and very few ducks actually "quack." Instead, their calls may include squeaks, grunts, groans, chirps, whistles, brays and growls.
It is a myth that a duck's quack won't echo. This has been conclusively disproved through different scientific acoustic tests, and was even featured as "busted" on an episode of the Discovery Channel show Mythbusters.
Ducks have been domesticated as pets and farm animals for more than 500 years, and all domestic ducks are descended from either the mallard or the Muscovy duck.
Because of their familiarity and comic nature, ducks are often featured as fictional characters. The two most famous fictional ducks are Disney's Donald Duck, who premiered in 1934, and Warner Bros.' Daffy Duck, who premiered in 1937.
The male Mallard has a glossy green head, grey wings and belly, while the female has a brown-speckled plumage. Mallard ducks have a molting season, they are vulnerable during this time as the molting stops them flying.
Mallard ducks live 5 to 10 years in the wild and 8+ years in captivity.
Ducks have many economic uses. Their feathers, particularly their underlying 'down' feathers, are used in many products, while the white Peking duck is the most common variety raised for eggs and meat.