Dig Deeper

Overview Taxonomy


Physical Description

Indian runners are tall, slender ducks that stand upright and have long necks. Early importers referred to them as “penguin ducks.” They have small wings and do not fly. They come in a variety of colors including black, white, chocolate, Cumberland blue, fawn, mallard, white, and trout.


This breed of domestic duck originated in Indonesia. Stone carvings indicate that Indian runners have been around for at least 2,000 years. They were first imported into Europe in the early 19th century and have been crossed with many other breeds to create new breeds such as Khaki Campbells and Buff Orpingtons.

Introduction to North America

Indian runner ducks are now bred in many parts of the world, including the United States.


Indian runner ducks are remarkable for their elegant and unique shape but are especially valued for their prolific egg-laying. They are also kept as pets and raised as show birds.

At the Maryland Zoo

The Maryland Zoo features an Indian runner duck among its Animal Ambassadors, which are introduced to audiences in education programs on and off grounds.


  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Vertebrata
  • Class: Aves
  • Genera: Anas
  • Species: platyrhynchos domesticus