Get to know your campus ducks


Ashlynn Melnyk, Correspondent

The Wildlife Center on campus houses over 100 ducks that represent 16 different species native to Georgia, but have you ever gotten to know friendly little faces of the ducks on campus?

Those most typically seen around campus are those of the Domestic Mallards. These Mallards can range in looks from a green head and brown body, to a full white Pekin Duck. 

Pictured above is a Male Wood Duck and an Apricot Female Wood Duck taken at the Wildlife Center ribbon cutting on June 1st, 2019.

Fun Fact: The White Pekin Duck is the duck that is used in the Aflac commercials!

“Wild duck species that have been seen around campus include the Wood Duck, Hooded Merganser and Black-bellied Whistling-Duck” said Education Program Coordinator, Wayne Paulk. These species of duck are known to stay in Georgia year round. The Black-bellied Whistling duck used to be rare, but we’ve seen a lot more of them in recent years.  Whereas the Wood Duck is Georgia Southern’s most common species, Paulk said.

“Ducks are very social animals and many species actually interact with each other in the wild and typically get along in mixed flocks,” said Paulk. “But just like all wild animals that live communally, there is always a hierarchy established among the individual birds and during breeding season aggressive behavior is more often seen.”

 Paulk would like to remind the community to not feed the ducks or wildlife on campus. The feeding of things like bread, chips, etc. can lead to severe health disorders such as malnourishment.

Pictured above is a Male Hooded Merganser from the Wildlife Centers ribbon cutting on June 1st, 2019.

“Enjoy watching their behavior,” said Paulk. “The interactions between each duck, their preening behavior, and vocalizations can be very entertaining.”

Students can participate in an active project ‘The Georgia Southern Biological Survey’ and document species to help determine the biodiversity found on Georgia Southern’s campus. The link to that survey can be found here

The Wildlife center on campus is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Admission is free to all faculty, staff and students that have their Eagle ID present, and to children under the age of 3. Public admission is $4 to all adults, and $2 for children ages 3-11, military, and senior citizens. Included in the admission price, is a 30 minute interactive daily program. This program has different themes each day and interacts with 5 to 6 of the house animals at the center.  The daily program schedule can be found here.

The Wildlife Center also accepts volunteers throughout the year. If interested, people can stop by the front desk to pick up a volunteer packet.