Can Ducks Walk On Land? The Truth!

Indeed, it was a wonderful and amazing sight when I saw the ducks descending and diving into the depths of the water, scratching plants and looking for caterpillars, then taking them quickly and climbing to the surface of the water! Glory be to God, the Great Creator, who created a huge variety of creatures around us.

Ducks involve many different types and forms, not only in shape, color, and size, but in other strange and diverse matters. You find some ducks walking on the ground only and cannot fly with the great ability to swim in the water.

And some ducks can fly long distances in the sky and migrate from country to country! Some ducks dive to far depths in the water!

Let’s talk in the coming lines specifically about ducks that dive in the water and what gives them this amazing ability to dive and whether they can also walk on the ground or not.

Can Ducks Walk On Land?

Usually, diving ducks cannot walk on land like other ducks. The legs of diving ducks are much closer to the center of their body. The legs of diving ducks are also further back. Which makes them very good at paddling and swimming but makes walking on land more difficult.[1]

They are not great walkers but in return, they are excellent swimmers and are also good at jumping in and staying in the air as a result of their wings and the nature of their bodies. They can fly but their wings are a bit narrow which makes them need a strong start first so they may need to build momentum first in order to be able to fly.

Important Features Of Diving Ducks

First, here is a short video that demonstrates some information about diving ducks:

Diving ducks are a group of ducks that usually live in water and feed mainly by diving into the water and searching for nutrients such as small fish, aquatic plants, and insects.

Diving ducks differ from other ducks in that ordinary ducks live on land and also swim in shallow waters to feed on insects and aquatic plants in addition to their food of vegetables, grass, and grains of the earth.

Diving ducks depend mainly on the water for their food, as they cannot walk well on the land a result of his leg closer to back of his body, which is more suitable for rowing to push him forward in the water.

The diet of diving ducks is often varied, as they are carnivores. They eat fish and fry crustaceans, mollusks, insects, and other vertebrates. They also eat aquatic plants and plants such as seeds, roots, wild celery, duckweed, tubers, cattails, kelp, and milkweed.

Diving ducks are social creatures, with some species congregating in flocks of anywhere from 5 to 30 birds, depending on the number of ducks in the area. Flocks of diving ducks are as large as 500,000 have been seen! 

How Far Do Diving Ducks Dive Into The Water?

Ducks At The Pond

Diving ducks are expert swimmers. They can dive dozens of feet into the water to find their food. They can also hold their breath for incredible periods of time. Ducks can dive for 10 to 30 seconds at a time, and some of them can stay holding their breath underwater for up to a minute!

Diving ducks often come in sizes suitable for their living nature in the water and they often also have similar sizes. Most diving ducks range from 13 to 22 inches in length and weigh about 1.5 to 4 pounds.

There are two main types of ducks that swim most of the time in the water. They can be distinguished by the way they eat and fly, they are the diver ducks that we talked about above and Dabblers ducks.

What Is The Difference Between Diver Ducks And Dabblers Ducks?

Let us explain the most significant differences between Dabbler ducks and Diver ducks.

Dabbler Ducks

Dabblers are shallow-water ducks that are often found on the surface of Small ponds, shallow rivers, and other shallow waterways are also found near swamps and shallow edges, and slow waterways.

They are not good divers and rarely swim in deep waters. Dabbler ducks forage primarily along the surface of the water as they turn their heads in the water to graze on aquatic plants, insects, vegetation, and grubs.

Dabbler’s feet are centered like teal on their body and not too far back as in diving ducks which makes it easier to walk on land. Dabblers’ wings are larger and allow them to fly straight out of the water like rockets.

Divers Ducks

Divers are found in deep, open water and can dive to great distances of 40 feet or more in search of fish and snails. There are many diverse ducks such as canvasbacks, ring-necked, and redheads.

Their legs are at the back of the body and they have larger feet that enable them to dive and swim. But it often hinders their ability to walk on land.

Divers dive when there is any danger such as a threat from predators. Divers’ wings are small and their body is compact, which makes them need more speed and strength to be able to fly.


Do Ducks Fly Or Walk?

The majority of domestic ducks walk with limited flying capabilities. Ducks walk with clumsy steps, swaying their feet so far apart that they seem to wobble unsteadily.

Each leg has four toes, three of which are webbed, with the hind toe uncoated, which is raised so that they can walk, which also gives them the oblique gait. There are also some ducks that can’t walk well like loons.

Can Ducks Survive On Land?

Diving ducks cannot survive on land, as diving ducks are semi-aquatic animals that differ from other types of ducks. They cannot walk and move on the ground because of the nature of their body intended for swimming and diving, so they require bodies of water to survive.

Do Ducks Walk In The Water?

Yes, as the bodies of ducks are perfectly designed to work in the water. Their short, wide feet allow them to glide easily through the water. Ducks also have a gland called the uropygial gland which is a key physical feature that keeps them afloat in the water without sinking.

The uropygial gland produces an oily substance that spreads over the body of ducks, preventing their feathers from saturating with water, as it makes them water-repellent.

Therefore they will not absorb water and not gain additional weight, which facilitates their floating above the surface of the water.

Ducks also have a system of hollow bones that help them swim in water. Duck feathers also have the ability to trap air as ducks have an elaborate system of interlocking spines within their feathers.

This system allows air bubbles to be retained. So if the duck needs to dive under the water simply push air out to descend in search of food or to escape a predator.

Do Ducks Walk In A Row?

Yes, ducks often like to walk in regular groups behind a leader they follow. So you can see them walking in a row, one after the other, until they reach the desired place.

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Doaa Salah
The shy one (too shy to put her photo) and the only girl in our team! Doaa is a veterinarian who is passionate about writing content. She knows a lot about animals and birds, as she has been studying them for many years now. Her goal? She is researching and learning to convey to you all the knowledge she have and what's new about farming.