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10 Rarest Duck Breeds (With Pictures)

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a White Cheeked Pintail duck on river spreading its wings

Of all the bird breeds out there, ducks have to be some of the cutest. Especially when they’re just hatched and waddling around with feet that are too large for their bodies. Like many other animals, you can divide ducks into two groups: ducks that are more domesticated and ducks that are wilder and rare. We bet you haven’t even laid eyes on a picture of some of these rare duck breeds found across the world. If you think you’ve seen some beautiful birds before, just wait until you scroll through the rest of this rare duck breed list.

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The 10 Rarest Duck Breeds

1. Silver Teal Ducks (Anas versicolor)

Silver Teal duck swimming along a shadowed creek
Image Credit: Alfonso Perez, Shutterstock

The Silver Teal duck, also called a Versicolor Teal, lives in grassy wetlands and marshes in the United States and South America. They are between 17 and 19 inches long and only weigh up to 1 pound. They are most recognizable by their blue bills with a yellow patch towards the base. They also have blue legs and feet and a black cap.

2. Northern Pintail Ducks (Anas acuta)

Northern Pintail duck on a river
Image Credit: Takashi_Yanagisawa, Pixabay

These ducks love to fly, and their most notable features are their long, slim necks and bodies. The Northern Pintail duck has a brown heady, black bill, and white neck and body. They are usually between 20 and 30 inches long and weigh under 5 pounds. These ducks are most prevalent here in the United States.

3. White-Cheeked Pintail Ducks (Anas bahamensis)

White Cheeked Pintail duck on a river
Image Credit: TheOtherKev, Pixabay

Whether you call them White-cheeked Pintails or Bahama Pintails, these birds are ducks that mainly inhabit saltwater regions around the world. However, there have been some found living near freshwater ponds and marshes. Most of the adults are about 15 inches long. They are unique because of their white cheeks and throat, with the rest of their bodies being brown.

4. Barrow’s Goldeneye Ducks (Buchepala islandica)

a male barrows goldeneye swims along a lake_carrie olson shutterstock
Image Credit: Carrie Olson, Shutterstock

The Barrow’s Goldeneye is a medium-sized duck that weighs up to 3 pounds. They have triangular heads with golden yellow eyes and grayish-white bodies. They also have distinctive white patches on either side of their heads. These ducks flock near lakes, ponds, rivers, and coastal waters.

Related Read: 21 Types of Duck in Georgia (With Pictures)

5. Ruddy Ducks (Oxyura jamaicensis)

ruddy duck ondrej prosicky shutterstock
Image Credit: Ondrej Prosicky, Shutterstock

You can recognize Ruddy ducks by their blue bills and rusty brown bodies. They also have fan-shaped, black feathers on their tails. These ducks inhabit fresh lakes, ponds, and marshes and usually migrate to bays and estuaries in the winter so they’re more protected.

6. Madagascar Pochard Ducks (Aythya innotata)

A close up of a Madagascar Pochard duck
Image Credit: Sergey Sivkov, Shutterstock

The Madagascar Pochard is considered to be one of the rarest birds in the world. The estimated population is below 50 individual ducks, making them a highly endangered species. The Madagascar Pochard has a brown body, black bill, and white eyes. There are also white markings on the undersides of their tails. They are mostly found living on the island of Madagascar.

7. Baer’s Pochard Ducks (Aythya baeri)

Baers Pochard duck on a river
Image Credit: Martin Fowler, Shutterstock

Another rare duck breed is the Baer’s Pochard duck. There are thought to be under 700 individuals in the world today. They have a glossy green head with blue eyes and chestnut brown chests. They tend to stick around sheltered areas near lakes to feed on plants, insects, and mollusks.

8. Common Eider Ducks (Somateria mollissima)

a close up of the common eider duck in open water
Image Credit: Per-Arne, Pixabay

These large ducks inhabit coastal islands and lagoons around the coasts of Europe, Siberia, and North America. They are true seabirds and consume mostly fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and other marine invertebrates.

9. Brazilian Merganser Ducks (Mergus octosetaceus)

Brazilian Merganser swimming in water
Image Credit: Agami Photo Agency, Shutterstock

The Brazilian Merganser is a critically endangered duck breed that is mostly being conserved in Brazil. It is estimated that there are under 250 of these ducks left today. The Brazilian Merganser duck has a dark green head and long black bill. There are also white panels on the wings and an extraordinary spiky crest.

10. King Eider Ducks (Somateria spectabilis)

a king eider duck swimming in a harbour agami photo agency Shutterstock
Image Credit: Agami Photo Agency, Shutterstock

We bet this duck is unlike any you have ever seen. These are large sea ducks that usually breed around the Arctic coasts of northeast Europe, Asia, and North America. They have a defined color pattern on their head with colors of blue, black, green, red, orange, and yellow. They can even dive into water 80 feet deep and forage the sea beds.

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There are a lot more bird breeds out there than you ever thought possible. Even though our list doesn’t cover all the rare duck breeds in the world, we hope that reading this list has opened your eyes to some of the beautiful ducks out there that you’ve likely never heard of before.

Featured Image Credit: TheOtherKev, Pixabay

About the Author Hallie Roddy

Hallie is a proud nature and animal enthusiast and has been for as long as she can remember. She attributes her passion for the environment and all its creatures to her childhood when she was showing horses on weekends and spending her weeknights devoting her attention to her pets. When Hallie isn’t using her degree in English with a writing specialization to spread informative knowledge on pets and animals, you can find her snuggled up on the couch reading books or watching nature documentaries with her own pets.