In the Wild

Indian Runner Duck: Anas platyrhynchos
In the Wild
 Upright, bottle-shaped body
o Legs far back on body
 Long, slender neck
 Total length: (fully extended in a straight line, measured from bill tip to middle toe tips):
o Drake: 65-80 cm
o Duck: 60-70 cm
 Weight:
o Drake: 1.6–2.3 kg (3 ½ – 5 lb)
o Duck: 1.4–2.0 kg (3 – 4 ½ lb)
 Can be many different colors (white, “fawn,” brown, “chocolate,” “Cumberland blue,”
o Individuals can be different colors, even hatched from the same clutch of eggs
Habitat and Range:
 Domestic breed found world-wide; originated from the wild mallard
 Originated in the East Indies, but popularized in Europe in the 19 th century
Pellets, insects, invertebrates, greens
 Streamlined body
 Webbed feet for swimming
 Flattened, broad bill is excellent for foraging
 Oil gland near base of tail
o Will spread this oil on feathers during preening to help with water-proofing
 This, in turn, helps keep them warm by not staying wet
 8 – 10 years
Ecosystem relationships
 N/A – Domestic breed
 Excellent egg-layers
o May lay up to 300 eggs a year!
o Eggs are about the size of a large chicken egg
 Can be white, off-white, light green or blue
 Diurnal
Indian Runner Duck: Anas platyrhynchos
Other “fun facts”:
 Run, rather than waddle
o This is where their name comes from
 “Drake” is the name for a male duck
o Often a curled tail feather indicates a drake
 Mostly kept for egg-laying; sometimes for meat
o With legs farther back on their bodies, there is more breast meat
 Called “penguin ducks” by Dutch explorers
 Cannot fly; wings are too small
 There are many runner duck enthusiasts
o Indian Runner Duck Association in the UK created in 2000
Conservation Status and Threats:
 “Watch” status by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy
 Fewer than 5,000 breeding birds in North America and 10 or fewer breeding flocks
At the Zoo
Ritz was born in 2000 and acquired from a private breeder.
He weighs 1.8 kgs (4 lbs)
He is a “fawn” colored drake
He has a curled tail feather
What We Can Do
Although this is not a wild breed, we can still make environmentally responsible lifestyle
decisions to help conserve other animals’ habitat – conserve energy, reduce litter and
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