Guest Author - Lisa Shea
One of the most common birds in North America, the Mallard Duck is found in just about every pond and stream from coast to coast. These ducks enjoy ponds and streams from Mexico through Alaska.
The male has a very distinctive green head, while the female is light brown with white stripes. Their call is the traditional "quack, quack" of stories.
Mallards eat insects, plants, worms, frogs, and other delicacies they find in their pond environment. They are called "dabblers" because they sit on the surface of the pond and just stick their heads in quickly to grab a bite to eat.
The mother raises a small brood of 6-12 yellow ducklings each year. The father - a mate chosen fresh each year - might hang around to defend his territory. However, it is more likely that he will go off to hang out with the other male ducks, while the mom watches the nest for 30 days until the eggs hatch. She then raises her babies. The young ducklings stay diligently with their mom, following her around in a little line.
The young ducklings grow quickly, and start having their own babies before they turn 1 year old. Most mallards die before they get to age 3. It is because of this short lifespan that the birds reproduce so quickly and in large numbers, to maintain their population.
Mallard Duck and Duckling Photos
Mallard Duck Flock in a Stream
Mallard Duck Photos from Stade Germany
All photos by Lisa Shea
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