Creature Feature

Creature Feature – The Mallard Duck

Posted by  //  August 21, 2019  //  Articles, Creature Feature

It can be fun to learn new things about something very familiar. The mallard is a duck that most people can easily recognize, especially the handsome male with his metallic green head and white-ringed neck (the female is plain in comparison, with brown and tan feathers).  Mallards can be found in lakes, streams, wetlands and park ponds…pretty much in any freshwater body bigger than a puddle! Here are some interesting facts about the most common wild duck in the northern hemisphere.

Only the female mallard makes the familiar “quack” sound. It can carry for miles. She raises her duckings alone and may fake being injured to lure a predator away from them.

Twice a year, mallards lose their flight feathers.  It takes about 3 weeks for the new ones to grow in, during which they can’t fly. 

Mallards migrate south to avoid winter weather and use familiar landforms to guide them along their journey.

Mallards are incredible flyers, capable of taking off nearly vertical from the water.  They’ve been clocked at up to 70 miles per hour. 

The comical way mallards waddle when they walk is due to their legs being set so far back on their body. 

Almost all domesticated duck breeds have been derived from the mallard. 

Article & photo by Margie Manthey

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