A duck’s feathers don’t last forever. In fact, ducks shed, or molt,their feathers twice each year. New feathers grow in and push out the old ones. Ducks molt very quickly. In just a few weeks, they lose all their feathers and grow a whole new set, or plumage.
Ducks go through their first molt of the year in early summer. Male ducks, or drakes, molt first. Females, or hens, molt later, when their ducklings are older. Many times, drakes get together in large groups to molt. They pick a safe place to stay, usually a large wetland. Molting is a dangerous time for ducks. They can’t fly while their new wing feathers are growing in. So, molting ducks spend most of their time hiding in tall grass or floating out in deeper waters.
- Tough Duck (jeffhandlinblog.wordpress.com)