Why Do Ducks Follow You? This Is Why!

Ducks are one of the animals that apply to becoming pets. The reason why is because ducks are harmless and they can be trained to be friendly to humans and other pets easily. Ducks are also cute and they do different funny things that make people laugh. One of the cute, and somehow funny, things ducks do is follow their owner. 

Yes! Ducks can follow their master! If you have a duck you might notice that your duck follows you sometimes wherever you go. However, ducks that are very clingy, follow their owners often, which can be annoying, especially for beginners. So, what is the reason behind this? Why do ducks follow you? This is the reason why!

The reason why ducks follow you is that ducks think you are their master. Ducks will follow you if they know that you can protect them and feed them. That is why if you constantly give a stray duck some food, sooner or later, that stray duck will follow you. 

Today, we will be discussing ducks. You will learn lots of things about ducks today! I will tell you the reasons why ducks follow humans, and each other, and the things you must do if a duckling starts to follow you. So, if you are ready to learn more about ducks, let us move on! 

Why Do Ducks Follow Humans?

The reason why ducks follow you or follow humans is because of imprinting. Imprinting is a form of learning in which animals gain a sense of species identification. Birds don’t know their identity yet after getting hatched. They need to visually imprint on their parents during a critical period of development. 

Wild birds use imprinting to survive longer. However, this also applies to all kinds of birds like ducks. For example, ducks begin the process of imprinting shortly after being hatched so that they can follow the right adult to give them food and safety. 

So, if ducks follow humans, it just means that they have imprinted on humans. If young ducks imprint on humans, they will identify with humans for life. Reversing the imprinting process is impossible because these ducks are bonded already to humans for life and will identify themselves as humans, not as ducks. 

Why Do Ducks Follow Each Other?

The reason why ducks follow each other is the same as the reason why ducks follow humans. This is because of imprinting. Ducks follow the strongest duck that will protect them and give them shelter and food. 

Ducks follow each other and they are always together to avoid predators. This strategy is very effective because if ducks are together, they can detect predators easily. Also, if ducks are together, it is an advantage for them because they can take down the predator together. This increases the odds of survival for all ducks in the flock. 

Do Baby Ducks Follow The First Thing They See?

Yes! Once baby ducks open their eyes to the world, baby ducks instantly identify the first thing they see as their mother. This is called imprinting, which I have explained above already. It helps baby ducks to follow a leader for them to survive. Once baby ducks start following, they will never stop. Baby ducks can follow you or other animals that they see first.

Why Do Ducklings Follow Their Mother?

The main reason why ducklings follow their mother is because of imprinting. The baby ducks saw their mother first and they think that their mother is strong and can protect them from different predators. That is why they follow their mother. Ducklings need to follow their mother to survive hunger, predation, and thirst.

What Should You Do If Ducklings Imprint On You?

When a duckling imprints on you, whether the duckling is a wild one or a pet of yours, you must do the following things below:

  • Go away quickly and hide from the duckling
  • Carry the duckling and return it to its mom
  • Just ignore the duckling that is following you

However, for wild ducklings, this doesn’t happen often. Why? Because wild ducklings are already taught by their mom to avoid human interactions. Also, wild animals, any animals, are afraid of humans because they are not used to it yet. 

Final Verdict

The main reason why ducks follow you is because of imprinting. Imprinting is the method used by ducks and other birds to survive. Ducks will follow the duck that they think is a leader and can help them survive. Ducks can follow anyone. This includes humans and other animals that they see first.

Jake Willhoite
Jake runs AnimalDome.com and has had cats and dogs his entire life. As a kid his family adopted several dogs from the local shelter which set him down the path of animal rescue.
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