In the Northern HemisphereNorthern HemisphereThe Northern Hemisphere is the half of Earth that is north of the Equator. For other planets in the Solar System, north is defined as being in the same celestial hemisphere relative to the invariable plane of the solar system as Earth's North Pole.en.wikipedia.org, mallards can be found across an incredibly wide range. InNorth Americathey are found from Alaska to Mexico. Mallards are also found across most of EurasiaEurasiaEurasia is the largest continent on Earth, comprising all of Europe and Asia. Located primarily in the Northern and Eastern Hemispheres, it is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Pacific Ocean to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and by Africa, the Medi…en.wikipedia.org, the Hawaiian Islands, Japan, South Korea, and parts of Australia.
How many mallards are in the US?
Mallards are among the most abundant ducks in the world, and in the U.S. alone, the mallard population is estimated to be 11.6 million birds. That’s good, because they’re also one of the most heavily hunted ducks, and account for one out of every three ducks shot in North America.
Are there male mallards and female mallards?
Both males and females closely resemble female Mallards, although the body color is somewhat darker than a typical female Mallard. Mexican Ducks were once thought to be a full species, but they hybridize extensively with typical Mallards in the northern parts of their range.
Where do mallard ducks live?
If someone at a park is feeding bread to ducks, chances are there are Mallards in the fray. Perhaps the most familiar of all ducks, Mallards occur throughout North America and Eurasia in ponds and parks as well as wilder wetlands and estuaries.
Do you recognize the mallard?
Act by December 31! The Mallard is a familiar sight on ponds and lakes in many parts of the world, and many people readily recognize this bird. Only the male Mallard, or drake, has the glossy green head and white collar; the female (called a hen) is streaked and mottled in shades of brown, buff, and black.
What color feathers do mallards have?
The male Mallards have molted, dropping their bright green, reddish, black, and white feathers, and replacing them with mottled brown ones. Changing into more subdued colors for the months of summer, helps camouflage the male ducks, protecting them from predators.
How to tell if a mallard is male or female?
In the meantime, while all the Mallards look like brownish females, there is one way to distinguish males from females. Look closely at the bill: the male’s bill is dull yellow, while the female’s is orange marked with black. And watch to see which duck is quacking. [More female quacking] That’s the female Mallard.
Do mallards molt in the summer?
Changing into more subdued colors for the months of summer, helps camouflage the male ducks, protecting them from predators. Come fall, the Mallards will molt again and return to the colorful dandies we remember.
Where is the call of the mallard recorded?
Calls of the Mallard provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Recorded by A.A. Allen
Does Ducks Unlimited protect mallards?
Ducks Unlimited protects habitat for Mallards at all stages of their lives. Learn more below in Related Resources.
Do mallards need feathers?
By late summer, the male Mallard’s need for fancy feathers to attract the females has passed. These birds have molted, and their bright feathers are replaced with mottled brown ones. Subdued colors help camouflage the male ducks, protecting them from predators.
What is a mallard duck?
Mallards are large ducks with hefty bodies, rounded heads, and wide, flat bills. Like many “dabbling ducks” the body is long and the tail rides high out of the water, giving a blunt shape. In flight their wings are broad and set back toward the rear. Relative Size.
How does a squid feed?
Feeds in shallow water by tipping up to reach submerged vegetation. Does not dive.
What color is a mallard?
Color Pattern. Male Mallards have a dark, iridescent-green head and bright yellow bill. The gray body is sandwiched between a brown breast and black rear. Females and juveniles are mottled brown with orange-and-brown bills. Both sexes have a white-bordered, blue “speculum” patch in the wing.
Where do mallards live?
Mallards can live in almost any wetland habitat , natural or artificial. Look for them on lakes, ponds, marshes, rivers, and coastal habitats, as well as city and suburban parks and residential backyards. A subspecies of the Mallard called the “Mexican Duck,” Anas platyrhynchos diazi, occurs in parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico.
What is courtship in swimming?
Courtship involves many displays, including synchronized head-bobbing and the female swimming toward the male with her head held low in the water.
What color is a pond squid?
Common on ponds, lakes, and streams. Males have glossy green head, white ring on neck, brown chest, and yellow bill.
Where do Mexican ducks live?
A subspecies of the Mallard called the “Mexican Duck,” Anas platyrhynchos diazi, occurs in parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico. Both males and females closely resemble female Mallards, although the body color is somewhat darker than a typical female Mallard.
What is the ancestor of ducks?
The Mallard is the ancestor of nearly all domestic duck breeds (everything except the Muscovy Duck). Domestic ducks can be common in city ponds and can be confusing to identify—they may lack the white neck ring, show white on the chest, be all dark, or show oddly shaped crests on the head.
What are some examples of waterfowl hybrids?
Many species of waterfowl form hybrids, and Mallards are particularly known for this, hybridizing with American Black Duck, Mottled Duck, Gadwall, Northern Pintail, Cinnamon Teal, Green-winged Teal, and Canvasback, as well as Hawaiian Ducks, the Grey Duck of New Zealand, and the Pacific Black Duck of Australia.
What is a duck quack?
The standard duck’s quack is the sound of a female Mallard. Males don’t quack; they make a quieter, rasping sound. Mallards, like other ducks, shed all their flight feathers at the end of the breeding season and are flightless for 3–4 weeks.
How long do mallard ducks stay flightless?
Mallards, like other ducks, shed all their flight feathers at the end of the breeding season and are flightless for 3–4 weeks. They are secretive during this vulnerable time, and their body feathers molt into a concealing “eclipse” plumage that can make them hard to identify.
How old was the oldest mallard?
The oldest known Mallard was a male, and at least 27 years, 7 months old when he was shot in Arkansas in 2008. He had been banded in Louisiana in 1981.
Where do mallard ducks live?
Perhaps the most familiar of all ducks, Mallards occur throughout North America and Eurasia in ponds and parks as well as wilder wetlands and estuaries. The male’s gleaming green head, gray flanks, and black tail-curl arguably make it ...
When do mallards breed?
Mallard pairs form long before the spring breeding season. Pairing takes place in the fall, but courtship can be seen all winter. Only the female incubates the eggs and takes care of the ducklings.
How many eggs do mallards lay?
They normally lay about a dozen eggs, and the incubation period lasts just under a month. Mallards are territorial during much of this period, but once incubation is well underway, males abandon the nest and join a flock of other males. Most mallard species are common and not considered threatened.
What is the most abundant duck in the world?
The green head and yellow bill of the mallard duck is a familiar sight to many people living in the Northern hemisphere. In fact, the mallard is thought to be the most abundant and wide-ranging duck on Earth.
How big do squid get?
Females are mottled drab brown in color, but sport iridescent purple-blue wing feathers that are visible as a patch on their sides. They grow to about 26 inches in length and can weigh up to 3 pounds.
How do cockatoos learn to open bins?
Wild cockatoos learn to open bins by copying others—first evidence of social learning. Animals. Wild cockatoos learn to open bins by copying others—first evidence of social learning. Extreme heat triggers mass die-offs and stress for wildlife in the West.
Is mallard a threat?
Most mallard species are common and not considered threatened. However one threat to their populations includes hybridization with other ducks.
Do mallards dive?
Mallard groups can often be seen head dipping or completely upending in the water. They rarely dive though, spending their time near the surface and dabbling for invertebrates, fish, amphibians, and a variety of plants. They also graze on land, feeding on grains and plants.
What is a mallard duck?
Mallard Duck. Mallards are incredibly common ducks that can be found across the northern hemisphere. These waterfowl are easily identifiable, particularly the males. With bright green heads, a male mallard is hard to miss! Read on to learn about the mallard.
How long do mallard ducks incubate?
The females incubate the eggs and raise the ducklings alone. Female mallards lay 8-13 eggs, and incubate them for nearly a month.
What do ducks need to survive?
All ducks must be provided with a specialty diet that meets their needs. A commercially produced duck food will provide all the base nutritional needs, and natural vegetation and insects can supplement their diet. All ducks should be provided with a water source for swimming and foraging.
What is the plumage of a mallard duck hen?
Mallard duck hen. Her plumage is demure compared to the male drake.
How many eggs do mallard ducks lay?
High-Powered Hatchlings – Mallard ducks lay 8-13 eggs per clutch, and when the ducklings hatch they are capable of swimming immediately. The ducklings will diligently follow mom into the water soon after hatching. They will remain with mom, but search for their own food.
What is the difference between a male and female mallard duck?
Male and female mallard ducks have drastically different colorations. Male mallards, known as “drakes,” have bright green heads, yellow beaks, cream-colored bodies, and dark brown chests. Female mallards, simply known as “ducks,” or “hens,” are much more demure in coloration. They are light brown across their entire bodies, with dark brown mottling from the neck down.
What to feed ducks to stop them from flying?
Instead of feeding bread, feed ducks lettuce, corn, peas, or birdseed. Prolific Population – Mallards are the most common duck in North America.
How many eggs can a female mallard hen lay?
A female can produce a clutch as large as 15 eggs; however, the average is around nine. Mallard hens, and those of many other waterfowl species, such as the Wood Duck, Canvasback, and Red-breasted Merganser, sometimes lay eggs in other females' nests, a behavior known as intraspecific brood parasitism, which is more commonly called "dumping.".
What is a mallard bird?
The Mallard is a familiar sight on ponds and lakes in many parts of the world, and many people readily recognize this bird. Only the male Mallard, or drake, has the glossy green head and white collar; the female (called a hen) is streaked and mottled in shades of brown, buff, and black. Both sexes have orange legs and feet ...
What is the quack call for ducks?
Only the female Mallard makes the familiar "quack" call so strongly associated with ducks in general. This "decrescendo" call is a series of quacks that starts loudly and becomes softer. It's used to keep in contact with a mate or to communicate to the larger flock. Quacking tends to be contagious — once one hen sounds off, ...
What is the color of a mallard?
Mallard. The Mallard is a familiar sight on ponds and lakes in many parts of the world, and many people readily recognize this bird. Only the male Mallard, or drake, has the glossy green head and white collar; the female (called a hen) is streaked and mottled in shades of brown, buff, and black. Both sexes have orange legs and feet ...
How far can mallards fly?
They are prodigious flyers and can cover up to 800 miles during one night's eight-hour flight .
How long do ducklings stay with their mother?
The ducklings can swim and forage for food right away, although they remain with their mother for several months.
Where do mallards live?
Mallards are widely distributed around the world. Wild populations occur throughout the Northern Hemisphere, including much of North America and Eurasia. Captive-raised Mallards have also been widely introduced not only within the traditional range but also in many parts of the world where the species never occurred before, making the Mallard truly the world's most widespread duck species.
How to identify mallards?
Mallard hens are much more camouflaged than their mates, but they, too, have easy keys to proper identification. These six key field marks are essential for identifying female mallards: 1 Dirty Bill: Female mallards' bills are a dirty orange color, but the amount of gray coloration on the bill can vary widely. They have the same spatulate shape as male mallards' bills. 2 Eye Stripe: All female mallards have a dark eye line that extends from the lores nearly to the back of the head. This stripe is typically the same color as the bird's crown, though the stripe's thickness and sharpness can vary between individuals. 3 Mottled Upperparts: Mallard hens have heavily mottled upperparts in shades of brown, buff, and black. 4 Mottled Underparts: Mallard hens' underparts are also mottled in brown, buff, and black, but with finer markings than the upperparts, which gives the underparts a generally paler appearance. 5 Mottled Undertail Coverts: The undertail coverts of a female mallard are finely mottled or spotted like the rest of the underparts, and the mottling extends to the edges of the tail as well. 6 Orange Legs and Feet: Like drakes, female mallards have bright orange legs and feet, and the feet are strongly webbed.
What are the underparts of a mallard hen?
Mottled Underparts: Mallard hens' underparts are also mottled in brown, buff, and black, but with finer markings than the upperparts, which gives the underparts a generally paler appearance.
What does a mallard look like in an eclipse?
Tattered Appearance: Overall, mallards in eclipse plumage often look scruffy or tattered . Some of their feathers may be missing while others have size differences that keep them from aligning smoothly. As the bird's old, worn feathers are replaced with fresh feathers, the plumage will smooth out.
What are mallards' undertails?
Mottled Undertail Coverts: The undertail coverts of a female mallard are finely mottled or spotted like the rest of the underparts, and the mottling extends to the edges of the tail as well. Orange Legs and Feet: Like drakes, female mallards have bright orange legs and feet, and the feet are strongly webbed.
What color is a Mallard drake's head?
The spatulate bill shape is typical of many ducks. Head Color: Mallard drakes have a bright iridescent green head. The green shows prominently in most lights, but in deep shadow, the head may appear black or dark rather than showing the metallic green color.
What is the most common duck in the world?
Mallards are the most familiar and most widespread dabbling duck in the world, and knowing how to properly identify these ducks is the key to understanding the identification of all ducks, including picking out the mallard clues in hybrid ducks. Birders who can easily identify mallards—males, females, eclipse males, ...
What is a mallard's breast?
Mottled Breast: While the overall color of an eclipse mallard's breast remains the same chestnut color, in this type of plumage it will be mottled with a spotted or scaled pattern similar to the pattern of a female mallard's more camouflaged plumage.
How do mallard chicks hatch?
Mallard chicks are precocial, which means they hatch covered with down and are ready to leave the nest almost immediately. Even young hatchlings can swim immediately, and the hen will lead her chicks to water soon after hatching. It is not uncommon to see a mallard hen attempting to cross a street with a dozen or more chicks in tow. Drivers should be cautious of ducks nearby in spring and summer, particularly near ponds, rivers, and swamps. Once in water, the young chicks will begin to forage on insects, seeds, and grasses. Within a few days, the chicks will also be dabbling to feed beneath the surface.
Why do mallards help ducks?
Mother mallards also help insulate the chicks from poor weather, often standing over them or spreading their wings over their broods to shelter ducklings from excessive rain or hot sun.
Why do mallards eat bread?
Because mallards are common in urban parks, many people visit parks to feed them bread, crackers, chips, popcorn, or other bread-like scraps. Feeding ducks bread is bad, however, because bread products do not provide adequate nutrition. Bread is "junk food" to ducks and can cause unhealthy weight gain that will inhibit the birds' ability to fly properly, and poor nutrition can also lead to other health problems. Overfeeding bread, which is common at parks, can also attract rodents and lead to bacterial diseases as the bread rots and clogs the waterway.
Why are mallards dangerous?
In addition to chemical contamination, mallards are also subject to lead poisoning and tangle hazards from improperly discarded fishing gear. Feral cats and other invasive predators, vehicle collisions, and illegal poaching are also problems. Adding Easter ducklings to urban and suburban ponds when these poorly chosen pets are abandoned just makes each problem worse for wild ducks.
What is the most common duck species?
Email. J & B Bristow / Flickr. Of all the types of ducks, the mallard ( Anas platyrhynchos) is one of the most widespread and most familiar species in the world, and they are the ancestors of most domestic duck breeds. Found wild throughout the Northern Hemisphere, mallards have also been introduced to many other areas and can easily be found in ...
How to identify a hybrid mallard?
Identifying hybrid mallards can be a challenge, but certain clues can pinpoint the bird's identity. On males, look for the distinct curled tail feathers. Also look for plumage patterns similar to the colored head bordered by a collar or the colored speculum, even if the colors on the hybrid duck don't match classic mallard plumage. Another indication of the bird's species will be others in the flock, since mallards are highly social and many flocks will have hybrid members.
What is the scientific name of a mallard duck?
Common Name: Mallard, Mallard Duck. Scientific Name: Anas platyrhynchos. 01 of 12.
What are the two types of ducks that humans domesticate?
Only two species of wild duck—the mallard and the Muscovy Duck—have been domesticated by humans. The vast majority of domestic duck breeds descend from mallards and were developed by selectively breeding different domestic birds (and sometimes domestic and wild individuals) for desired traits like plumage, growth speed, and high egg production.
How fast can mallards fly?
Migrating mallards have been clocked flying at 55 miles per hour, slightly faster than the average waterfowl. While they usually cruise at an altitude of less than 10,000 feet, they can get much higher. In 1962, a mallard was struck by a commercial airliner at 21,000 feet—a record altitude for a bird-aircraft collision at the time.
How long did the mallard copulate?
As Moeliker wrote in a paper about the incident—which won an Ig Nobel Prize in 2003—the mallard “mounted the corpse and started to copulate, with great force, almost continuously picking the side of the head” for nearly an hour and a half before Moeliker intervened. 14. THAT SAME DUCK IS CELEBRATED WITH AN ODD HOLIDAY.
What is one mallard famous for?
13. ONE MALLARD IS FAMOUS FOR AN UNFORTUNATE POSTHUMOUS EVENT. In 1995, Kees Moeliker, a curator at Rotterdam’s Natuurhistorisch Museum, documented the first case of homosexual necrophilia in mallards after he found one male mallard attempting to mate with another that had died after flying into a museum window.
Why do mallards have orange legs?
Evolutionary biologists think that mallards and other ducks have yellow or orange bills and legs to show off for the opposite sex. The bright colors suggest that a duck has been eating right and has a strong immune system, making them attractive mates.
What is the name of the duck with green heads?
Mallard ducks: It seems like they’re everywhere (spoiler alert: they pretty much are), and they’re familiar to most of us. But what do you know about them beyond “they’re the ones with the green heads”? If it isn’t much, here are 15 facts about them.
What do mallards eat?
They’re as cosmopolitan in their diet as they are in their habitat choices, and will eat plants, worms, snails, other insects and their larvae, and shrimp. On land, they’ll also eat agricultural grains and seeds , especially during migration. And, of course, they’re happy to take bread and other handouts from people in parks (though this isn’t always good for them). Their diet is generally two-thirds plant matter and one-third animal protein.
What color is the speculum on a mallard?
All mallards have a blue speculum that is visible when the birds are in flight. The speculum is a distinctive patch of color on the wing near the shoulder, which often helps identify the species. On mallards, the speculum is purplish-blue and outlined in white.
What is the most recognizable duck in the world?
Mallards are one of the most recognizable ducks in the world. The male birds have special colorful plumage during the spring and summer breeding season that helps them attract females. Their heads and necks are bright green, and at the base of their neck is a white ring.
What do mallard ducks eat?
They will also eat animal matter, including insect larvae, earthworms, and snails. When migrating, mallards will opt for lots of seeds and grains.
How long do mallards live?
The young leave the nest within a day of hatching, led to the water by their mother. A mallard usually lives for 5 to 10 years in the wild. The oldest known mallard was a male that lived to be 27 years old. Mallards are very common ducks with stable populations and are not a species of concern.
Why is it easier to hear a female mallard than a male?
Listening for a female mallard may be easier than spotting one because females call out the familiar "quack" that's associated with ducks. Male mallards are silent, except when fighting another male.
Where do mallards live?
Two populations of mallards exist in Hawaii; one group is a winter visitor and the other stays year-round. Mallards are often seen swimming around ponds, marshes, and even man-made water sources, such as pools and fountains.
Is a mallard a duck?
Mallards are very common ducks with stable populations and are not a species of concern. Mallards are close relatives to the Hawaiian duck, so the two species are able to interbreed. The sharing of genes is putting the rarer Hawaiian duck at risk of being bred out of existence.