© Ranger James Hobson
Habitat: tropical wetlands in sub-Saharan Africa, Madagascar and south Asia from Pakistan to Laos and extreme southern China
Status: Least Concern
The Comb Duck or Knob-billed Duck (Sarkidiornis melanotos) is not only the largest species of duck (length can range from 22 to 30 in. and wingspan ranges from 46 to 57 in.) but also one of the coolest. Check out those weird schnozes! Males, or drakes, are the only ones who have the ‘combs’ and during the breeding season they get even larger than usual as to attract a female (or two, or three… or five).
Yes, that’s right. Male Comb Ducks are kind of kinky; drakes might mate with two hens at the same time, which is called harem polygamy. Or the drake can mate with up to five different females in succession called successive polygamy. Whatever the final count, I’m sure after two there are a lot of high fives going around the watering hole.