Muscovy Duck Cairina moschata

  • Order: Anseriformes
  • Family: Anatidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Jack C. Eitniear, R. Bribiesca-Formisano, Claudia I. Rodríguez-Flores, Carlos A. Soberanes-González, and Marîa del Coro Arizmendi


Although the breeding season is variable, Muscovy Duck typically breeds during the local wet season. It nests singly, in hollow trees, caves (Eitniear et al. 1998) or in small cavities with down lining, between 2 and 18 m above the ground, sometimes nest in dense vegetation on the banks of streams. The clutch size is 8-15 (on average 10) eggs, the eggs are sub-elliptical to oval, white to greenish white, and ca 63 x 47 mm (Baicich and Harrison 1997). Incubation lasts about 35 days. The chicks are precocious, born covered with dark brown down above, yellow face and belly, with a black list on the eye that extends to the neck, relatively long tail, yellow spots on the wings, gray-brown bill, and grayish-yellow legs. Juveniles fly at ca day 70 (Woodyard 1972).

Recommended Citation

Eitniear, J. C., R. Bribiesca-Formisano, C. I. Rodríguez-Flores, C. A. Soberanes-González, and M. d. C. Arizmendi (2015). Muscovy Duck (Cairina moschata), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.