Updated on April 17, 2023
There are too many duck species to even begin to catalogue them all. Many of them are stunningly gorgeous, and you might be shocked at how often that happens. This article features our picks for the top ten most attractive ducks.
1. MANDARIN DUCK
The Mandarin duck is the most stunning duck in the world, according to the website Living with Birds. The species stands out thanks to its eye-catching combination of purple, white, blue, and orange.
The greenish-black forehead and purple crest on the back of the Mandarin duck’s head make for a striking colour scheme. Longer brown feathers extend from the sides of the neck and cheeks, while the sides of the head are a creamy white with a chestnut spot below the eyes. One maroon breast sits on a white chest and belly. Females are duller in coloration and have less pronounced crests and eye rings than their male counterparts.
2. Smew Duck
3. Knob Billed Duck
Unique among ducks is the Knob-billed Duck, or Comb Duck, named for the huge black knob on the bill of male birds of this species. The species can be found in the marshes of South Asia, Madagascar, and Sub-Saharan Africa. They rank among the largest of the waterfowl species. Adult ducks have brown flanks and a white, freckled head. This creature has a white neck and belly. Upper sections are glossy blue-black with bluish and greenish iridescence. Males can be distinguished from females by the prominent black knob on their beak. Larger males exist than females.
4. Hooded Merganser
The hooded merganser’s headdress, which is black and white, is quite unique. They are the tiniest of the merganser species, and North America is home to only one of them. Upon reaching adulthood, the male Hooded Merganser has yellow eyes, a white chest with two black stripes, and a white fan-shaped crown. Female hooded mergansers are distinguished by their brown eyes, rusty-brown crest, and sable plumage.
5. King Eider
King Eiders, found only in the Northern Hemisphere, are the largest of all sea ducks. The crown-like appearance of the duck’s characteristic yellow knob on its head is where the term “crown-headed” comes from. The Arctic coastlines of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Svalbard, and Russia are home to this species of duck. Male eiders are distinguished by their red bill, which contrasts with their bluish-grey neck and head. All female eiders are a warm brown colour with a black bill.
6. Long-Tailed Duck
The long-tailed duck is an average-sized sea duck that is distinguished by its small bill and two long, thin tail feathers. Oldsquaw is an old name for this duck in the United States. The male duck’s plumage goes through seasonal changes, changing hues in the winter and the summer. The male’s white facial characteristics turn black throughout the summer. In the winter, the diving duck is found in the ocean or on saltwater, while in the summer it is found in the pools, ponds, and streams of the northern tundra.
7. Surf Scoter
The surf scoter is a peculiar duck that can be seen in the winter along the coasts of the Pacific and Atlantic. These sea ducks have always lived in the North American oceans. The male sea duck is commonly referred to as a “skunk-headed coot” because to its distinctive head pattern. Male surf scoters can be identified by their brightly coloured bills, which stand out against their velvety black plumage and white patches on the forehead and back of the neck. Females are distinguished by their paler black plumage, white cheek patches, and greenish black bills.
8. Spectacled Eider Duck
A stunning sea duck, the spectacled eider can be found along the coastlines of Alaska and northeastern Siberia. In terms of sea duck size, males average 52.8 centimetres in length and females 49.8 centimetres. Male spectacled eiders have a white back, a yellow-green head, a black body, and white patches around their eyes. Female spectacled eiders, on the other hand, are a deep brown with a lighter brown mask over their eyes. Males are fully mottled brown during the late summer and fall months.
9. Ruddy Duck
One of the North American stiff-tailed ducks, the ruddy duck is easily distinguished by its striking bright blue beak. You can usually spot them because of cocked, stuffed-tail facial features. Their vivid blue bills and chestnut colouring degrade to grey throughout the winter months. During the summer, the sex differences between male and female ruddy ducks disappear. They eat mostly watery vegetation and crabs.
10. White-Headed Duck
This stunning duck is one of the world’s rarest species of waterfowl. Ducks, both sexes, can grow to a length of about 45 cm (19 inches). Small in stature, with a gorgeous white head, thick bluebills, and a strong tail, the males stand out. Females are distinguished by their darker brown bill and greyer brown body.