Quartet of Muscovy ducks are living at popular East County park alongside native species

COURTESY PHOTO: CAZ ZYVATKAUSKAS - Non-native Muscovy ducks can be seen at Greshams Red Sunset Park. Bird watchers and duck lovers should flock to Gresham's Red Sunset Park to spot a variety of water fowl, including an "odd duck" that isn't commonly found in these parts.

Gresham photographer Carol Zyvatkauskas snapped photos of a quartet of Muscovy ducks, which are normally domestically bred on farms. The four enjoying the sunshine at Red Sunset Park, 2403 N.E. Red Sunset Dr., might have been a pet release from some local resident.

Muscovy ducks, also known as Barbary ducks, are one of the largest duck species native to the Americas, with wild, feral breeding populations most commonly found in Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts and Hawaii. Though a tropical bird, the ducks can thrive in cooler climates.

Muscovy ducks have a wide array of markings and plumage, but most are a dark brown or black mixed with white, particularly near the head. The male drakes grow to about 34 inches in length, while the female hens reach about 25 inches.

Also at Red Sunset Park are Canadian geese and mallards. And though they are great to watch, do not feed ducks or geese. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said giving birds bread, popcorn, French fries or other human food can cause starvation, spread disease, lead to deformities or result in an over-concentration of birds.

You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.

Have a thought or opinion on the news of the day? Get on your soapbox and share your opinions with the world. Send us a Letter to the Editor!