Reddit | MistaVickery

11+ Ducks With Adorable Head Tufts Fit For An 18th Century Aristocrat

I'm not sure how exactly ducks became my favorite animal, but I'm sure it has to do with the fact that I'm neither allergic nor have any childhood memories of them acting aggressively towards me.

My early memories just involved them either swimming around while I fed them or them adorably waddling up to me because they knew that's what I was there to do.

But while we may have a common mallard or a white breed of duck in our minds when we picture the word, it's kind of easy to forget just how many breeds of duck exist.

And while some stand out because of their colorful plumage or unusual head shape, others have found a slightly more subtle way to distinguish themselves from others.

And today, we're going to look at a breed that always look like they're wearing powdered wigs like George Washington.

1. This is a white crested duck, which now gives you a name for the little "afro" they tend to have on their heads.

Reddit | Womp2

As Victoria Roberts wrote in British Poultry Standards, Charles Darwin first wrote about these ducks in 1868 after observing them in the Netherlands and receiving one from Malaysia.

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2. As with a lot of ducks, they only thing cuter than these ducks when they're fully grown is what they look like as ducklings.

Reddit | Tommy18

It's obviously a lot smaller, but you can tell that these little guys have a crest at birth and that it turns white before the rest of their down does.

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3. And depending on how those crests grow in, they may either seem like afros or like a wig that wouldn't be out of place when the Declaration of Indpendence was signed.

Reddit | Deriving

As Roberts wrote, it's likely that these ducks were brought to the Netherlands by Dutch trading interests like the Dutch East India Company as early as the 17th century.

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4. And while their crests are definitely funny and cute to us, we can see here that they certainly make them stand out among other ducks.

Reddit | sanjirou3

And in the wild, that's not usually what you want when you have natural predators.

For this reason, Roberts suggested that the reason we can see them today are because they were selectively bred both by people throughout the Malayan archipelago and by those who brought them back to The Netherlands.

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5. It's also worth noting that it's possible for ducks of other colors to have these puffy crests.

Reddit | PM_me_your_carp_PB

This one seems to resemble a mallard, but British Poultry Standards seems to identify this one as a Silver Appleyard Crested duck.

Others suggested that this is the result of a bad molt, but the crest seems well in line with what's normal for these types of ducks.

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6. While I doubt it's impossible to find an 18th century aristocrat with a wig that looks like this, I get a bit of a different vibe from this duck.

Reddit | Jodecialcocer

Its crest seems to look more like the hair of a mad or at least eccentric scientist like Doc Brown from Back To The Future.

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7. And here we see what that crest looks like on a black duck.

Reddit | earljones820

You'll notice that it's more of a dull gray than a bright white in this picture, but that doesn't prevent our friend here from looking very pleased with himself.

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8. Despite how soon these crested ducks were brought to The Netherlands, they were actually adopted into American poultry standards before the U.K. bothered with them.

Reddit | vimelo95

According to Roberts, they were first described in the U.S. by D.J. Browne in 1853 and qualified for the American standard by 1874.

The same wouldn't occur in Britain until 1910.

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9. Although we can trace these funny little ducks back centuries, it's actually unclear how their crests came to be.

Reddit | Jhay64

Although we can surmise that they were bred to keep them up once they were discovered to have them, it remains unknown exactly what kind of mutation led them to form like this.

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10. Although some evidence suggests that some ducks were raised on George Washington's Mount Vernon farm, that didn't seem to happen as often as with other fowl.

Reddit | amananda

As far as the Mount Vernon website can tell, this was likely because there were already enough wild ducks in the Chesapeake Bay to suit his needs.

And sorry to disappoint, but he liked hunting and eating ducks a lot more than keeping them as pets.

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11. So as amazing as it would be to picture Washington living among a bunch of ducks that looked vaguely like him, that never seemed to happen.

Reddit | grinchen86

Oh well, I think it's more fun to picture a lot of these guys gather around and draft their own little duck constitution anyway.

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12. That said, we can find at least a few folks throughout social media that do have crested ducks as pets.

Reddit | mechabuschemi

A lot of them give these ducks historically inspired names like George or William, but "Afroduck" also seems to be a pretty popular choice.

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13. As we can see here, the "style" of the crest isn't the only thing that can vary among these ducks.

Reddit | MistaVickery

It turns out that they can also differ in size since most of the crests we've seen so far have been very large and puffy.

This one, however, looks more like somebody glued a cotton ball to non-crested duck. That head shape makes it clear that it's supposed to be there, though.

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14. We can also see a little variance here, but most of these ducks have very lush crests.

Reddit | MrCrash2U

They're also very different from the ones we've seen so far in that most of them have a kind of teasing to their crests like somebody styled them.

I guess stranger things have happened than duck crest grooming, if that is what we're seeing the results of.

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15. Willie here looks like someone made him laugh, but that's not how his owner desbribes his mood.

Instagram | @duckbroswithfros

As they wrote on Instagram, "How Willie feels about it being Monday."

OK, I guess that means he's more tired than anything. I certainly can't think of anything to laugh about when I wake up on Monday morning.

h/t: British Poultry Standards

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