can be found almost anywhere in the
world - including Nebraska. You'll
also find mallard ducks in locations
like Asia, Africa and South America.
are known as dabbling ducks. It is
a medium-to-large duck that is easy
to recognize. The male ducks have
a glossy green head with a white collar
around the neck. The female is mostly
brown. Both have orange feet. Both
males and females have a blue "speculum"
bordered with white on both sides.
A duck's "speculum" is the back portion
of its secondary feathers.
is dabbling? A mallard is a dabbling
duck because it tips its body into
the water bill first. The tail sticks
right out of the water into the air.
With their bills, they look for food.
Mallards do eat snails, insects and
small fish. But, 90% of their diet
is grass seeds and other plants -
male is called a "drake".
The female is called a "hen".
The baby ducks are called "ducklings".
drake stays with the hen for the first
week of incubation which takes 28
days. After the first week, the male
leaves and joins groups of other males.
The female incubates the eggs herself.
After the ducklings hatch, they can
leave the nest. They will be able
to fly from 49-60 days later.
fast can a mallard fly? One study
recorded a speed of 40 miles per hour
(Cottam et al 1942). Other studies
have recorded speeds from 26 to 60
miles per hour (Palmer 1976a).
the ages, the Mallard has benefited
people by supplying them with eggs
and meat. Many of our domestic ducks
who their Mallard heritage in their
bright color. Mallards are beautiful
birds that bring joy to outdoor and
you are tempted to raise a few
adorable ducklings, read this
a Few Ducks - University of
brings out the maternal or paternal
instinct more quickly than very
young ducklings. Before you
plunge, however, remember that:
They can be very messy!
Duck feed is not always available.
They grow up to be adult ducks
and then what do you do?
They require care, housing
They have very fragile legs.
They should be held by the
neck and lifted with the palm
of the hand under their breast.