Abandoned Magpie ducks
This weekend we collected two domestic ducks that had been abandoned at Westlake Park in Santa Cruz. The ducks were not being maintained - fed a proper diet, and they were aggressive towards wild waterfowl.
On our initial visit to assess the situation, we found the two black and white ducks together, foraging along the shoreline of the small lake. From their coloration and upright carriage, we believe they are Magpies - a fairly unusual breed of domestic duck.
The Magpie duck is believed to have originated in Wales in the early 1900s, and was first imported to the United States in 1963.
The two ducks were a bit skittish, as though they had been chased, or perhaps someone had tried to capture them unsuccessfully. It took a few days before we were able to collect them.
They were transported to the local animal shelter where they will be fed and cared for until they are adopted.
Magpies are a hardy variety of domestic duck, living approximately 9-12 years. They are good layers, producing over 220 eggs annually and they are active foragers, eagerly consuming slugs and snails and insects. A great addition to a home farm.