Ducks have been known to make varying sounds like chattering or growling. But the major sound associated with ducks is quacking.
Your ducks may quack early in the morning or dead in the night. The sound can vary in degree of loudness and even in the frequency of times. Are you wondering why they make this sound?
Quacking As Communication
Ducks make the quacking sound mainly to communicate. However, the exact reasons for this communication may not be known to humans. There are certain situations where ducks have been known to quack, one of such is quacking to let others locate their position. A duck may adopt quacking to make other ducks find them.
Quacking can also be a means of impending danger. This is common with mother ducks alerting their ducklings of predators or other threats around. Female ducks also use quacking to claim a nesting area when they are about to lay their eggs. Loud, incessant quacks by ducks are usually a sign of apprehension and danger.
For nursing ducks, quacking is also a way of telling humans to stay off their ducklings. On the contrary, quacking can also communicate mood, e.g., when they are happy.
Quacking At Night
The usual reason for quacking at night is to raise the alarm for danger, e.g., a predator around the flock.
Some ducks rest during the day and become active at night. When ducks are feeding at night, they may quack. This may last through the night since they are active all through. In the wild, many ducks have devised staying awake through the night as a means of evading predators.
In such conditions, they are generally quiet to avoid being discovered. When ducks are domesticated, there is a big chance of them staying up and quacking at night. This is because it is in a more friendly environment, making them lose the defense instinct of staying quiet through the night.
Quacking In The Morning
Quacking in the morning can be a direct indicator of a duck’s mood. There is an elation of mood when the day starts, and that can just be the reason why your ducks try to manifest it.
It can just be a call for companionship on a bright new day. It is just the same way humans feel a surge of energy early in the morning. Ducks quack in the morning to show their early morning excitements too!
Quacking When They Fly
Flying ducks are often heard quacking while at flight. This leaves room for the wonder why do they quack while flying. Since they fly in a V formation, there is a belief that quacking allows the duck to locate each other as they lead the group in turns. The quacking can be translated as a sort of chatter amidst the birds, a way of communicating.
It could be a way of the followers cheering on the leader of the group or motivating each other during the flight.
Some ducks have been known to just be lousy and chatty as they engage in their activities. The quacking could also be a means of communicating the direction of flight as they go along in the group.
Not All Ducks Quack
As much as there are many tangible reasons for duck quacking, it is worth noting that not all ducks quack. Generally, female ducks are more vocal than their male counterparts.
It has been pointed out that it is the female that quack to make a breeding space for its eggs. It is also the female that quacks to communicate with its ducklings and to ward humans off them.
When trying to attract a mating partner, male ducks can become vocal and quack. But on the general outlook, female ducks are more vocal than males. The young ducklings are also not seen to quack; they instead make softer sounds like chirping or whispers to alert their murders of hunger.
Quacking can also be breed-specific. For instance, the Muscovy do not usually quack – even the females. Some known breeds that readily give the quacking sound are American black ducks, Mallards, and Pacific black ducks. These are usually more vocal than most of the other species. These vocal groups can be chatty with sounds other than quacking.
Quacking Is All Communication
Communication is an integral part of our daily lives as humans. With our level of sophistication, we may think that animals don’t communicate too. This is not true, and animals do talk too. Ducks use several sounds as a means of communicating between themselves and to other animals.
Quacking is one of the sounds that ducks employ for communication. It is mainly the female ducks that quack more. It could be to signal others of their presence or to show that there is danger in the environment. Mother ducks also communicate with their ducklings with quacking.
Communication is not just with other ducks but also towards humans. Ducks can quack to express their happiness and satisfaction to an owner. It could be after a good meal or a nice swim. Or generally to show their mood and state of health!