Mallards are the more tolerant species of ducks and are also one of the most visually stunning. One of the best-known and most recognizable ducks, the mallard or wild duck is a dabbling duck found throughout the temperate and sub-tropical areas around the world. The most abundant and wide-ranging duck on earth, the male mallard is distinctively different from its female counterpart. The male has a bright green head and neck with a brown chest, brown wings and a yellow bill. The female mallard is brown and tan, with a white tail and an orange bill. The mallard usually inhabits the freshwaters of North America, Europe, Asia, New Zealand and Australia. In North America, its range stretches across the north of United States up to the Bering Sea. It would interest you to know that the female mallard ‘quack’ is louder than a male’s quack. If this has caught your attention and you are looking for more such interesting facts, read through the following lines to know more interesting facts and amazing information on mallard duck.
Species: A. platyrhynchos
Group Name: Sord, flock
Length: 56-65 cm
Weight: 0.9-1.4 kg
Lifespan: 5-10 years
Habitat: Wetlands such as parks, small ponds and rivers.
Age of Sexual Maturity: 12 months
Gestation Period: 23-29 days
Number of Offspring: 8-13 eggs
Interesting & Fun Facts About Mallard Ducks
- North America has more mallards than any other continent.
- There are over 10 million mallards residing in North America, with several millions more in Eurasia.
- The highest population of mallards is found in the Prairie Pothole Region of Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba and North Dakota.
- Mallards were most often a popular sporting bird.
- Mallard ducks have the longest migration period amongst all the ducks, which extends from late summer to early winter.
- The male mallards are known as drakes, while their female partners are called hens.
- A group of mallards on the ground is called a “sord”; while in flight; it is called a “flock”.
- Female mallards have a louder and more distinctive “quack” than the male mallards.
- Most mallards have a life span of 2-3 years. However, the oldest recorded mallard was 16-years-old!
- A mallard’s young feeds primarily on insects and grows to become a vegetarian.
- Mallards usually feed on plants, such as grass seeds, leaves, stems and aquatic plants, and vegetation like grains, rice, oats and corn. However, they are also seen feeding on insects, mollusks, small fish, tadpoles, freshwater snails, fish eggs, frogs and crustaceans.
- The female mallard lays light green eggs.
- Mallards are capable of adapting to various different environments, as they are very hardy birds. They are tolerant of humans and thus, can be found living in urban areas also.
- Mallard ducks are found in a large variety of habitats, such as dry agricultural fields, shallow marshes, oak-dominated forested wetlands, lakes, flooded fields, rivers, canals, streams, estuaries and even ditches.
- They are also known as puddle or dabbling ducks, as they search for food on or near the water’s surface. They dabble by tipping up with their head under water, and their tail wagging in the wind.
- The summer range of a mallard stretches from Alaska to Quebec, south to northern Mexico and Texas; while the winters are spend in the warmer climes of the United States, Central America and the West Indies.
- The ducklings are precocial, which means that they are capable of swimming and feeding right after they hatch.
- Mallards are not just surface ducks. They will also dive for their food if they have to.
- The Victorians would call mallards, ‘wild ducks’.
- Both, male and female mallards cannot fly after molting, unless they regrow their feathers.
- Once all the eggs have hatched, the duck parents lead the brood through the water and they never return back to their nest.
- A duck doesn’t feed her young as they are expected to find food for themselves.
- Mallards are considered to be one of the largest ducks.