Masked Duck

Nomonyx dominicus




Ducks, Geese and Swans (Anatidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

White or buff

Number of Eggs:

4 - 10

Incubation Days:

23 - 24

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

On ground in wet fields or marshes with tussocks.

Nest Material:

In grassy vegetation, lined with few down feathers.





Masked Duck: Small stifftail duck with black-tipped blue bill and black mask with thin white eye-ring. Body is rufous-brown with black streaks on back and sides; white wing patches are visible in flight. Female is mottled brown overall with paler face, and dark cap, eyestripe, and cheek stripe; bill is blue-gray. Juvenile has paler face and is finely barred gray-brown overall. Winter male is similar to juvenile but has browner face.

Range and Habitat

Masked Duck: Found primarily in the tropics and neotropics with populations throughout Mexico. Strays to Texas where it has bred. Multiple records for Louisiana and Florida, single records for several other eastern U.S. states. Inhabits marshy ponds with heavy vegetation, often found in rice fields.

Breeding and Nesting

Masked Duck: Presumably monogamous. Female builds roofed-over or deep cup nest in vegetation near water, lined with few down feathers. Clutch size is four to ten white or buff eggs incubated by female for 23 to 24 days. Male stays for a portion of incubation period. Female alone tends precocial young.

Foraging and Feeding

Masked Duck: Feeds on variety of aquatic vegetation and seeds, occasionally insects and crustaceans. Primarily feeds by tipping up, also makes short dives.


Masked Duck: Generally silent. Male display call a long cooing series of notes "kirri, kirroo, kirri, kirroo, kirroo, kirroo, kirrrr." Female gives hissing sound.

Similar Species

Masked Duck: Ruddy Duck lacks white wing patches, male has white cheeks, and female has one stripe on face.

The area on top of the head of the bird.
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X