St. John’s New (??) Ducks


The very friendly duck was at Cinnamon Bay Wednesday afternoon.

Hello everyone and happy Thursday! I’m sorry that we were not able to write yesterday. Cell phone and internet connectivity was not working in our favor yesterday. We see people working on this daily, so hopefully all will be fixed very soon. Fingers crossed!

I had dinner with Dave Thomeczek and Julie Hoy at Ocean 362 the other evening, and they mentioned that a new family of ducks has taken up residence outside of Coconut Coast Villas, a vacation rental complex that they manage. (Dave and Julie also manage Casa Mare and Hali Lani, and they even appeared on HGTV’s House Hunters International last year. Gosh they’re busy!) Dave said that this new family had appeared after the hurricanes and that they had been here ever since. Hmmm….

So the following day, I was out and about conducting a News of St. John Island Tour and I noticed these ducks out by Frank Bay. And then yesterday, I saw one on the beach at Cinnamon. That particular duck (pictured above) was super friendly, and even walked along the beach with me for a bit.

The ducks appear to be somewhat domesticated. We’ve heard that they may have been someone’s pets in Tortola or Jost Van Dyke, and that the hurricanes may have inadvertently brought them over here.

So we’re curious, do any of you know what type of duck this is? How it got to St. John? And what their backstories are? I would love to know!

Thanks everyone and have a great day!!

(PS: A HUGE thank you to Grande Bay for allowing me to use their internet this morning!!!) 

30 comments for “St. John’s New (??) Ducks

  1. MArc
    January 11, 2018 at 7:55 am

    My guess someone’s pet for sure- they look inbred- not a joke – this happens to ducks in captivity when brother sister ducks breed.

  2. Leigh
    January 11, 2018 at 8:14 am

    Looks like Muscovy ducks which are a nuisance. They are messy (droppings transmit disease) and breed like crazy. Removing them is a good idea. They aren’t native.

    • Lisa Davis
      January 11, 2018 at 8:35 am

      I disagree about them being a nuisance, and any droppings of any animals could harbor disease. I agree they could have been someone’s pet but there are plenty of them that are wild in Florida. They are entertaining and friendly. Leave him alone

      • Donna
        January 11, 2018 at 8:31 pm

        I totally agree. Leave them alone’

      • Kim Kemp
        January 16, 2018 at 2:42 pm

        I agree with Lisa. I say leave them alone.

    • January 11, 2018 at 9:18 am

      With the exception of, ‘Looks like Muscovy ducks…’, your entire statement is almost completely incorrect. I say, ‘almost’, as I agree with Ms. David that all animal waste is a potential vector for disease.

      • Donna
        January 11, 2018 at 8:34 pm

        That’s the point exactly!!

    • Iris Voorhees
      January 11, 2018 at 6:12 pm

      I agree..Muscovy Duck. Horrible pest. You will not be happy if you keep them on the island. Here in South Florida they are invasive and have taken over ponds and lakes and poop everywhere. They waddle around the entire neighborhoods and spread poop. No good….

  3. Bethany
    January 11, 2018 at 8:20 am

    That is probably a Muscovy crossbreed. They don’t carry and diseases that other waterfowl do not have and they have the same breeding rate as other birds. So you will have the same issues you have with the island chickens.

  4. Connie & Bill
    January 11, 2018 at 8:45 am

    Hi Jenn ,
    Interesting !! Smart ducks relocating to beautiful St. John. So great if you to share these tidbits.
    Quick? How is Banking ATM’s on Island ?
    Also credit cards are they readily accepted?
    Coming for 2 months so hard to plan how much $$$
    to bring . Thanks for your help !!
    Connie & Bill

  5. Angie in Kentucky
    January 11, 2018 at 8:55 am

    They are Muscovy. They eat mosquitos. They do not usually quack. They can fly until they are near 2 years old. They have cookies from white to black/ green all variations. The males get heavy red around the face, females less. They lay great eggs!! We get 7$ dozen here in Kentucky.
    They are nice to have around for bug control. You only need one male if you want babies. You do not need a male to get eggs. The females will lay eggs alone, unfertilized.

  6. January 11, 2018 at 9:13 am

    Muscovy Ducks without question. We’re friends with a bunch of them here in South Carolina. They are friendly, relatively intelligent, and dietary generalists. I believe they are at least on their way to being genetically domesticated (to some extent) owing to their constant proximity and interaction with we Homo sapiens types LOL. I’d be curious as to whether this is an instinctive and intentional variation on their migratory routes (possibly driven by climate change), or if this movement was of an incidental anthropomorphic nature. In conclusion: Cool ducks, relatively harmless, and certainly not an ‘invasive’ species.

  7. thad swift
    January 11, 2018 at 9:39 am

    Maybe 10 year ago we met a family on Little Lameshure who had a duck very similar. It was their pet on their boat. The mothers name was “Sandwich”,hard to forget that whole thing. Maybe theirs??

  8. January 11, 2018 at 10:25 am

    I have not read any of the other comments yet, but at first glance I believe this is a Muscovy Duck. Could be wild or domesticated hybrids? Misplaced from original home? And they could be molting (getting new feathers in) so cannot fly away as easily? … But classic Muscovy with the extra red skin on the face and around the beak. Also black legs.

  9. Katy
    January 11, 2018 at 10:45 am

    We stayed with some folks near Coral Bay in 2012 who had some Muscovy ducks! Maybe they are theirs…

    • Ruth
      January 11, 2018 at 5:34 pm

      Donna Matthias in coral bay has or had similar ducks.

  10. Phillip Long
    January 11, 2018 at 10:57 am

    My friends call me a lucky duck everytime I go to St. John. As far as that one goes, my guess is it’s either a Dicken or a Chuck. They “get around”. It is Love City ya know. BTW “Sandwich” is a legend.

  11. Fraser Drummond
    January 11, 2018 at 11:50 am

    These are Muscovy Ducks and, perhaps more accurately, a Puerto Rican version. Our dear friend, the late Guy Benjamin, had several of them in his yard as part of his all-inclusive flock of chickens, geese and ducks. They’re distinctive looking with their coloring and mottled beaks. When I asked about their origin Guy replied that they were “Puerto Rican ducks” which sent me scurrying to the internet to find more information. “Tropical ducks, they are native to Mexico, Central and South America but are able to adapt reasonably well to cooler temperatures. The species is divided into two subspecies. The wild subspecies, Cairina moschata sylvestris, is commonly known in Spanish as the “pato real” or “royal duck”. The domestic subspecies, Cairina moschata domestica, is commonly known in Spanish as the “pato criollo” or “creole duck”. They’ve been bred since pre-Columbian times by Native Americans and are heavier and less able to fly long distances than the wild subspecies. Their coloring of their plumage is also more variable. Other names for the domestic subspecies in Spanish are “pato casero” or “backyard duck” and “pato mudo” or “mute duck”.”

    When I moved from St. John in 2011 Guy was still lovingly tending his flock, as well as wandering herds of goats and clusters of donkeys. We mourned his passing in June of 2012 and I’m not sure what happened to them after. I’d like to think that maybe our new friends are the descendants from Guy’s flock.

    • Pianogrl
      January 13, 2018 at 1:47 pm

      Guy Benjamin!! What a wonderful precious man he was! Had the honor & privilege to meet him & visit with him in his home on several occasions on multiple trips to STJ before he passed on.
      Thank you for mentioning him……one of the true treasures of STJ that many today do not know about. Loved him & his books. Miss him greatly!

  12. John Keady
    January 11, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    There was a youtube video of a friendly duck that looked like this one that took shelter near Gallows Point, in a garage.

    • John
      January 11, 2018 at 5:27 pm

      Yes, my wife took that You Tube video right after Irma passed. This is the same type of duck that we saw in the Grande Bay upper parking garage. The duck was a bit dazed and confused but found a stable spot in the bed of a small maintenance truck. We fed her bread after the video and she ate everything we gave her. Just guessing her gender…..

    • Ed Hart
      January 11, 2018 at 8:44 pm

      yes you right one was relocated from the garage one was around the docks

  13. Alison
    January 11, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    That very same duck was walking with me down Cinnamon beach at Christmas! Adorable and very friendly. Jenn – I’ll text you a photo if you’d like to post it.

  14. January 11, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    They are fairly domesticated and if you are a meat eater they are very tasty ,sorry for that ,but I do love some fried rice ,plantains,onion,water cress ,avacodo and fried duck .And their duck eggs are great fried over peppers and sweet potatoe wedges .i have my eye on a few of those young free roaming chickens there on the island as well .

  15. Kathy Miner
    January 11, 2018 at 10:28 pm

    We saw a pair of these by Small Pond (opposite Frank Bay) on Jan 1st. Took photos and were going to work on ID’ing them. Now we know!

    And get THIS …

    We are back in Wisconsin now, but we’re very glad we visited when we did. St John is truly The Little Island That Could.

  16. Linda
    January 12, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    I have seen frozen Muscovy Duck Breast in groceries here on the left coast. Lots of recipies, online. Just sayin….

  17. Jane Bartko
    January 12, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    We are living in S. Florida now (St. John residents for 12 years) and they sure look like Muscovy ducks to me. They are very friendly and not a nuisance to us but they multiple rapidly along with the iguanas.

  18. January 13, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    Love to leave the webcam from Soggy Dollar Bar up on my computer screen all night. In the morning just after sun up there would always be this little parade of ducks that would come by. On the beach and they would wonder up to the tables and peck around (do ducks peck?). Since the web cam has come back up I see their is a little less beach, fewer boats, and no ducks in the morning. Perhaps you have them now? “I ain’t flying back against that wind maan!”

    January 13, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    Maybe they belong to Zeddie on Jost Van Dyke….he had them behind his bar and restaurant in White Bay… Heard they are nasty ducks and not to deal with them…disease.

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