Mallard Ducks

Katherine Woytek

Mallard Ducks are one of the many animals that live in the marshes, swamps, rivers, ponds, and grain fields. You can find Mallard Ducks over most of the northern hemisphere, and mostly in freshwater. In the winter Mallards favor swamps and lakes, but in the summer they favor the prairies and grain fields.

Mallard Ducks lay 7-10 eggs and within 26-30 days the eggs will hatch. A day later the Mallard will lead her little ducks to the water and they will be able to fly off on their own. They are completely on their own; they feed and take care of themselves. Mallards are omnivores. The majority of their diet is plant based things. Like seeds, stems, or roots. Pairs start to form in the fall and winter. Displays of a male include: dipping bill in the water and then rearing back up, giving whistle and grunt calls as he settles back on the water. The female while accompanied by the male seeks and chooses the site for the nest. The site may be more than one mile from the water; usually on the ground.
If you get to know them, Mallard Ducks are actually pretty interesting. Their scientific name is Anas platyrhynchos and their group name is a Sord (in flight). Their average lifespan in the wild is about 5 to 10 years. Also their size and weight is 20 to 26 inches and 2 to 3 pounds. The green head and yellow bill of the Mallard is a familiar to sight too many people living in the northern hemisphere. The Mallard is thought to be the most abundant and wide ranging duck on earth.

Mallards prefer calm, shallow sanctuaries, but can be found in almost any body of freshwater. They can also be found in saltwater commonly found in wetlands. The mallards have webbed feet, which they use for paddling beneath the water. Their feet have no nerves or blood vessels, which means they won’t feel the chill of the icy water.