Mallard duck Facts

Mallard duck Facts
Mallard duck (also known as wild duck) is the largest and the most abundant duck in the world. Mallard duck inhabits mainly northern hemisphere and it can be found in North America, Europe and Asia. Mallard duck inhabits wetlands, marshes, ponds, lakes, rivers and flooded areas. This animal is threatened by recreational hunt, pollution of the water, lead and mercury poisoning and habitat destruction. Luckily, number of mallard ducks in the wild is still large and they are not listed as endangered species.
Interesting Mallard duck Facts:
Mallard ducks can reach 20 to 26 inches in length and up to 3 pounds of weight.
Males and females are easily distinguished by the color of the plumage. Males have green heads, white collars and brown chests. The rest of the body is grayish. Almost entire body of females is covered with brown feathers except bluish-purple wings.
Mallard ducks have strong muscles used for flying and a wingspan of 32 to 37 inches. They can fly at the speed of 55 miles per hour.
Mallard ducks migrate from the north to the south during the winter, to avoid low temperatures and lack of food.
Mallard ducks molt after the breeding season. They are vulnerable during this period because they are unable to fly.
All domestic species of ducks originate from mallard ducks.
Mallard ducks are omnivores (eat plants and other animals). Their diet depends on the type of habitat and available food. They eat different kind of soft-bodied invertebrates such as insect larvae, snails, shrimps and worms. Aquatic vegetation is also on the menu of mallard ducks.
Mallard ducks rarely dive to find food. They usually consume plants and animals from the surface (or close to the surface) of the water. Mallard ducks also feed on the ground.
Mallard ducks are best known by the "quack" sound that they produce. Typical quacks are produced by females. Males vocalize more quietly and produce rasping sound.
Male mallard ducks are called drakes. Females are known as hens. Group of mallard ducks is known as flock.
Mallard ducks find their mating partner in the autumn and live together until the spring, when mating season takes place. Females have only one mating partner, while males often mate with more than one female.
Females build nests in the ground and lay from 8 to 13 greenish-grayish eggs. Incubation period lasts 23 to 30 days.
Male leaves the female after successful fertilization. Female takes care of the eggs and ducklings after hatching.
Ducklings are ready to leave the nest 13 to 16 hours after hatching. They are able to swim from the moment of birth.
Mallard ducks can survive from 5 to 10 year in the wild, but they rarely live that long. Oldest known mallard duck died at the age of 27 years.

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