Ducks, members of the waterbird family Anatidae, are a common sight on many bodies of water around the world. They are highly gregarious and flock together in large groups, often near lakes, rivers, and ponds. As a result, they have some unique sleeping habits that distinguish them from other birds. Many heavier species of ducks sleep with their heads tucked backward, which conserves body heat and directs their eyes and ears towards the water’s surface to alert them of any predators lurking nearby. Ducks also rest on only one leg while sleeping to reduce the loss of body heat and to keep the other leg ready to spring into action at a moment’s notice should a predator attack.
Ducks prefer to sleep in large groupings as this grants them safety in numbers. They usually roost in the form of a line, with those at the end of the row keeping vigil and awake to warn others of any danger. Those at the center of the line are allowed to close their eyes as they can still see well enough without the need to keep an eye on any potential threat.
Ducks don’t have any set time to go to sleep as they aren’t nocturnal birds. However, they generally like to sleep on or close to a pond at night. This is because a pond is harder for predators to access, and the rustling of leaves or branches will wake up any sleeping ducks and alert them of danger.