Do Ducks Eat FISH – What Else Do They Eat?

One duck in clear water

Ducks eat a wide variety of foods and like to look for food on their own depending on their habitat, but do ducks eat fish? Let’s dive in to answer the question of if ducks eat fish and also take a look at what else they consume.

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Do Ducks Eat Fish?

duck diving for fish
Ducks love to eat fish as they are a great source of nutrition and they are readily available to wild ducks.
Small fish make up the bulk of a duck’s diet. As foragers, ducks choose their diet based on factors including regional availability and seasonality. Fish is an important source of protein and fatty acids for wild ducks, which are essential for the birds’ health and longevity. Ducks swim underwater in pursuit of fish, frogs, newts, and other aquatic creatures. The duck’s regular diet includes a variety of foods, including acorns, seeds, bugs, algae, and plants. Even ducks that are kept inside a pen should have access to these fresh items in addition to their feed. There is a great deal of variation in a duck’s diet from one breed to the next and from one location to the next. Fish and crustaceans make up the majority of the diet of ducks that reside near bodies of water or the coast of an ocean. Read More: How Long Can Ducks Stay Underwater? Diver ducks are efficient swimmers and can stay underwater long enough to scavenge for food!

Do All Ducks Eat Fish?

No, not all ducks eat fish. Some ducks, such as domestic ducks, don’t have access to fish. With that being said, this doesn’t mean that they won’t eat fish at all, but just that it isn’t a regular part of their diet. Some ducks may not eat fish because they do not have access to them, while others may not eat fish because they prefer other food sources. Ducks that live in areas where there are no fish may eat other things, such as bugs, plants, and small animals. Read More: How Much Does a Duck Weigh in Pounds? Ducks can range in weight depending on their breed. Learn more!

Kinds of Fish That Ducks Eat

duck in water with fish
Ducks will eat pretty much any fish around that’s available. Some might have a preference for type or taste, but most will just eat what they can catch.
There are many different types of fish that ducks enjoy eating. Some of the more common species include:
  • Graylings
  • Guppies
  • Crayfish
  • Minnows
Ducklings will eat just about any type of small fish they can find, but as they get older, they tend to prefer certain types. For example, adult ducks typically prefer minnows because they are easier to catch and require less effort to eat. A study conducted by the University of Minnesota found that when given a choice, adult mallards preferred to eat crayfish over other types of food. This is likely because crayfish are a good source of protein and fat. Read More: How Long Can Ducks Go Without Water? Water is essential to a duck’s well-being, and they can’t go without it for very long.

Benefits of Feeding Ducks Fish

duck in water
Giving your ducks fish is a great way to encourage their overall health.
There are many benefits of feeding duck fish. Some of the most notable benefits include:
  • Fish is an excellent source of protein and essential nutrients.
  • Fish is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for the duck’s health.
  • Feeding ducks fish can help to keep their feathers healthy and vibrant.
  • Ducks that eat fish are more resistant to diseases.
  • It can be a substantial food, which can keep ducks fuller for longer.

Is it Safe to Feed Ducks Fish?

Yes, it’s safe to feed ducks fish. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when feeding duck fish:
  • Avoid feeding ducks fish that has been caught in polluted waters. Polluted water can contain toxins that can be harmful to ducks.
  • Avoid feeding ducks fish that have been treated with chemicals, such as pesticides or herbicides. These chemicals can be harmful to ducks if ingested.
  • You can allow the ducks to catch the fish themselves out of a pond or body of water instead of actively feeding it to them.
When feeding ducks fish, it is important to use common sense and take precautions to ensure that the ducks are safe. Here’s a video looking more into ducks that eat fish and what else they eat: 

Ways That Ducks Hunt For Fish

There are two primary methods that ducks use to hunt for fish:
  • Ducks can catch fish by diving under the surface of the water. This technique is often employed in the pursuit of larger fish.
  • Ducks can catch tiny fish by waddling through shallow water and catching them. In most cases, this technique is employed to reel in smaller fish that are swimming near the water’s surface.
Ducks will use their beaks to capture and consume the fish they catch during their fishing trips. The beaks of ducks are made to tear and shred food, making them ideally suited for consuming fish due to their design. Read our related article, How Fast Can Ducks Swim Underwater? See the average speed AND the fastest speeds of different ducks!

What Else Do Ducks Eat?

If there are no fish available, ducks will eat other foods such as:
  • Worms
  • Insects
  • Grass
  • Weeds
  • Seeds
  • Berries
  • Fruit
  • Leaves
Ducks are omnivorous creatures, which means that they will eat both plants and animals. This diet helps to keep them healthy and provides them with the nutrients they need to survive. When feeding ducks, it’s important to offer a variety of foods to ensure that they are getting the nutrients they need. If you are only offering one type of food, such as fish, it’s important to supplement their diet with other items such as grains, fruits, and vegetables to ensure their health. Read our related article, Do Ducks Have Teeth? Ducks don’t have teeth like other animals, but they do have bills that helps them grab food.


Ducks love to eat fish on a regular basis if they’re available. Fish are a great source or protein among other nutrients that can be found in them. Not all ducks eat fish, but most of them do love to eat fish as it’s usually accessible to them and it’s tasty. Next time you’re looking into feeding your ducks fish, be sure to reference this article.

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