Petkeen is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commision. Learn More

Why Are Ducklings Yellow? Are They All Yellow?

Ed Malaker

Most of us are accustomed to seeing yellow ducks on television and in storybooks, so it’s not unusual that you might think all ducklings are yellow. Unfortunately, it’s not so. Ducklings can be other colors as well. If you are thinking about getting ducks or have some on your property and would like to know more about them, keep reading while we find out why some ducklings are yellow and what other colors, they might be to help you be more informed.

divider-foodWhat Ducklings Are Yellow?

1. American Pekin

American Pekin yellow ducklings
Image credit: Pixabay

Besides television and storybooks, the American Pekin is likely another reason many people think all ducklings are yellow. The American Pekin is one of the most popular domesticated ducks in the world. These ducks date back to 1872 when a farmer in Connecticut brought them from China. These are large ducks with white feathers and an orange bill. The ducklings of this bird are bright yellow and look like the ones we see on television.


2. German Pekin

The German Pekin has the same Chinese heritage as the American Pekin, but the two breeds have received plenty of modifications in their respective countries and are now quite different. Breeders crossbred the German Pekin with other upright white ducks from Japan to produce the variety we see today. While some birds can look similar to the American Pekin, others will have a yellow tint. The ducklings will also be yellow but not quite as bright as the American variety used selective breeding to achieve the color.


3. Call Duckling

Two Call Duckling side view_Pixabay
Image Credit: Pixabay

Several species of Call Duck can produce yellow ducklings, particularly the White Call Duck and the Snow Call Duck. These ducks are the smallest of all ducks, and hunters used them to call larger ducks they could shoot, which is where they get their name. These ducks are great with children and make great barnyard companions.

divider-multipetWhat Ducklings Are Not Yellow?

1. Mallard

Mallard Duck close up
Image Credit: Pixabay

The Mallard is native to the United States, and you can find it almost anywhere. The male birds have a green head with grey wings and breast feathers, while the females are usually brown and speckled. Mallard ducklings can have yellow markings, but they are usually not entirely yellow like the American Pekin ducklings.


2. Muscovy

Muscovy Duck on the grass
Image Credit: D. Kell, Pixabay

It’s a lot easier to find the Muscovy duck in South America, where it’s native, but there are many introduced populations in North America. These ducks have long claws and a wide, flat tail. It’s a large bird that can sometimes weigh more than nine pounds. It usually has a light-colored head with a dark body. While the ducklings can contain some yellow, there are other darker colors mixed in.


3. American Wigeon

It’s easy to confuse the American Wigeon with the Mallard, especially in the Central United States, where they are both popular. It has a short neck and a small bill with a cream-colored stripe running from its bill to the crown of its head. The male has green plumage on its head, similar to the Mallard while it’s breeding but loses it to look more like the brown female during the off-season.


4. Northern Shoveler

The Northern Shoveler is another common bird in America, though most of the Eastern United States will only see them as they migrate. They use their highly specialized bill to forage through the water for invertebrates. It likes to nest away from waters and usually lays about nine eggs. They like to live in large flocks, and the ducklings are usually brown.

divider-foodSummary

As it turns out, not all ducks are yellow. In fact, only a small percentage of them are, but that small percentage makes up most of the birds we often see, so it can certainly seem like they are all yellow. If you are thinking about purchasing a duck for your property and are hoping for yellow ducklings, we highly recommend looking into the American Pekin. These birds produce ducklings exactly as you are expecting and are still majestic animals when fully grown.

We hope you have enjoyed reading over this guide and have learned something new about ducks and their offspring. If we have convinced you to purchase one of these beautiful animals, please share our look into if all ducklings are yellow on Facebook and Twitter.


Featured Image Credit: Pixnio

Ed Malaker

Ed Malaker is a veteran writer who has contributed to a wide range of blogs that cover tools, pets, guitars, fitness, and computer programming. When he’s not writing, Ed is usually performing DIY projects around the house or working in the garden. He’s also a musician and spends a lot of time helping people fix their guitars and composing music for independent films.