Why Do Ducks Vibrate and Shiver?



Why Do Ducks Vibrate and Shiver?

Affiliate Disclaimer

We’re reader-sponsored! By checking out our awesome handpicked recommendations, you not only support us without spending a dime but also help us earn commissions from qualifying purchases made through links on this website. Let’s have fun and discover amazing birds together!

Do you ever wonder why ducks vibrate and shake? It may appear strange behavior, but there is a good reason for it. In this post, we’ll look at some of the explanations for why ducks shiver and vibrate, as well as some of the benefits that come with it. So keep reading to learn more about this amusing quirk of duck behavior!

Key Takeaways on Reasons Why Female and Male Ducks Shiver or Vibrate

Why Do Ducks Shake Their Heads, Tails, and Wings?

Mating Behavior

Mating Behavior

Although duck mating behaviors vary depending on species and circumstances, several common elements appear in all types of ducks.

When attracting a female duck or during courtship rituals in the mating season, a male duck shakes and vibrates its b0dy. Sometimes, a male duck will splash water on the female. This behavior appears to be used to communicate attraction to other ducks and to show aggression or dominance to other males.

Furthermore, many ducks use vocalizations or make visual displays such as head bobbing and head tilting to entice potential partners.

While the exact mating rituals of ducks vary depending on factors such as location and atmosphere, they typically involve shaking, vibrating, vocalizations, and other forms of movement and communication to attract suitable mates.


Ducks love fresh water that’s why you see them vibrate and shiver in excitement at the sight of a pond or swimming pool. This observation is based on the fact that when ducks are happy, joyful, or excited, they vibrate in this manner. This is common when a duck sees its duck owner or another person it recognizes.

These behaviors may be accompanied by other signs of excitement, such as wagging tails or flapping wings. Surprisingly, this behavior is also very similar to what dogs do when they are excited.

Searching Their Surroundings for Food and Potential Predators

Searching Their Surroundings for Food and Potential Predators

Ducks such as the Pekin ducks are well-known for their agile movements and ability to flee danger quickly. When these birds are looking for food or predators, they move entirely differently.

When a duck suddenly stops moving and shakes its head from side to side with a strange expression, it indicates that the bird is surveying its surroundings for potential dangers or prey.

While shivering and shaking, ducks gain more detailed information about their immediate surroundings. The increased visual perception that results from such movement makes it easier for ducks to spot potential food sources and threats. This distinct behavior may actually play an important role in duck survival in the wild.

When ducks are sick, they frequently shake their wings and tails as part of their natural response to illness. This is known as a trembler or quaker reaction, which occurs due to a nervous system imbalance in the duck.


If a duck becomes infected with a virus or bacterial infection, its body may respond by releasing stress hormones that cause involuntary muscle contractions. Furthermore, when a duck becomes dehydrated, it may start shivering to generate heat through movement.

When ducks feel ill, they may shake their wings or tails for various reasons. By carefully observing your duck’s behavior and consulting with your veterinarian, you can help them get back on track faster.

Before taking your duck to the veterinarian, inspect the preen gland for signs of illness. The preen gland, commonly found near the duck’s tail area, is in charge of secreting oils and ensuring that the feathers are clean.

If this gland appears yellow or swollen, it could indicate that the duck has wet feathers. This condition can be serious if left untreated and lead to other health problems.

You can also wash your duck with mild soap and make sure it is dry.

What are the Three Common Health Problems that Cause Duck Shivering?

Common Health Problems that Cause Duck Shivering

Duck Pneumonia

Duck pneumonia, or aspergillosis, is an infection caused by the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. The fungus spores are inhaled when the duck breathes, causing plaque in the bird’s air sacs. Shivering, dehydration, loss of appetite, fatigue, and isolation are all symptoms of duck pneumonia.

Duck pneumonia is frequently caused by moldy feed and bedding in the ducks’ housing environment. Because these materials tend to stay wet for long periods, they foster ideal spore formation conditions.

Furthermore, if the duck already has another infection or illness, it is more likely to contract duck pneumonia. As a result, it is critical to take precautions to keep your ducks healthy by providing a clean and dry living environment.

Duck Viral Hepatitis

Duck Viral Hepatitis is a serious but relatively common infection of the duck liver. This condition frequently causes an enlarged liver or hepatomegaly and is highly contagious.

Shivering is the primary symptom of duck viral hepatitis, which may be accompanied by other symptoms such as diarrhea, loss of appetite, and tremors.

Duck viral hepatitis must be diagnosed and treated immediately by a qualified veterinarian if you suspect your duck has contracted the disease due to its rapid onset and fatality.

Despite its severity and potentially lethal consequences, careful monitoring and vaccination can help reduce the risk of duck viral hepatitis in domesticated ducks.

Newcastle Disease

Newcastle disease, also known as avian pneumoencephalitis, is a potentially fatal viral infection that can also affect ducks. This illness primarily affects poultry’s respiratory system. It also adversely affects the nervous system leading to neurological issues such as tremors, depression, and paralysis. Newcastle disease causes shivering and other visible symptoms, such as drooping wings in wild and domestic ducks.

Fortunately, this illness in male and female ducks can be avoided by administering vaccines. Vaccination is especially important for duck keepers who raise many drakes, hens and ducklings and those who keep birds in close quarters or under stressful conditions. Regular vaccination and other preventative measures can help protect your ducks from the harmful effects of Newcastle disease.

Riemerella Anatipestifer Infection

Riemerella anatipestifer, also known as New Duck Disease and Infectious Serositis, is a bacterial infection primarily affecting young ducks and other waterfowl. It can be contracted through inhalation or open wounds in the duck’s feet. Clinical signs of this infection include ocular and nasal discharge, twisted neck, mild coughing, weight loss, sneezing and watery green feces.

The infection may also include neurologic symptoms that can progress to obtundation and death.

Riemerella anatipestifer can be fatal to ducklings, goslings, chickens and turkeys, so it is critical to avoid infection whenever possible.

Fortunately, this disease has a vaccine that can help protect your duck from contracting it in the first place. While Riemerella Anatipestifer can be quite harmful to your duck population and should be taken seriously if any of your ducks are infected, there are steps you can take to prevent and manage it.

Duck Plague

Duck plague is a serious illness that can have serious consequences for ducks and other animals. Duck plague, also known as viral enteritis, occurs when a duck contracts the herpes virus. Because of the long incubation and recovery periods, this disease can be especially difficult for ducks.

Shivering and vibrating, decreased appetite and water intake, ruffled appearance, lethargy or lack of coordination, mucus in the eyes and nostrils, and diarrhea are all symptoms of duck viral enteritis.

If you notice any of these symptoms in your ducks, you should seek medical attention immediately. Treatment options typically include supportive care to address issues such as dehydration or poor nutrition and antibiotics to aid in the fight against herpes.

Why Do Ducks Shiver or Vibrate When They Eat?

Ducks Shiver or Vibrate When They Eat

Ducks have a unique way of protecting themselves from predators, whether feeding on land or in the water. They frequently vibrate their bodies and tilt their heads while eating to view their surroundings better. They believe predators are nearby and are attempting to scare them away with these signals.

Furthermore, many ducks will make small pecking motions with their bills to warn off potential food competitors. If you notice your flock of ducks vibrating as they eat, it’s a sign that they’re nervous and want to protect themselves from any potential dangers in the area.

Latest posts