Muscovy Ducks, a non-domestic species to the Florida environment, are large, heavy-bodied ducks with long necks that can make them look like small geese. They have a unique appearance with red facial skin with odd warty growths. The tail is fairly long. Males are larger than females; domesticated individuals are often larger than wild. Wild Muscovy Ducks are mostly black. Adult males have large white patches on the wings; juveniles show much smaller white wing patches. In good light, the black feathers can show a greenish gloss. Wild Muscovy Ducks are wary birds that feed by dabbling in shallow wetlands. These ducks were domesticated primarily for farming purposes.

The pictures above is a tribute to the one that I have called “Mildred”. Personally I had despised this species for its initially perceived “ugly” appearance. She won me over as her warm demeanor inquisitively frequented our property. I had seen her young accompany her as they foraged through our grass. Sadly, following Hurricane Ian, she was a constant on our property and approached me more than previous almost as if asking for some assistance. This gentle soul passed and was discovered the following morning. I will miss my “beautiful friend”.

by Mark L Franzer