Christopher Taylor Bird Nature Wildlife Mammal Photography
nature photography
GALLERIES > BIRDS > ANSERIFORMES > ANATIDAE > MALLARD [Anas platyrhynchos]


Mallard Photo @ Kiwifoto.com
 
 
Location: Aspen, CO
GPS: 39.2N, -106.8W, elev=11,214' MAP
Date: November 28, 2011
ID : B13K0380 [4896 x 3264]

bird photography

Mallard Photo @ Kiwifoto.com
 
 
Location: Playa del Rey (Del Rey Lagoon), CA
GPS: 34.0N, -118.5W, elev=3' MAP
Date: December 5, 2008
ID : 7C2V2375 [3888 x 2592]

Mallard Image @ Kiwifoto.com
 
 
Location: Ballona Freshwater Marsh, CA
GPS: 34.0N, -118.4W, elev=5' MAP
Date: July 17, 2008
ID : 7C2V5421 [3888 x 2592]

nature photography

Mallard Image @ Kiwifoto.com
 
 
Location: Galileo Hills, CA
GPS: 35.2N, -117.8W, elev=2,953' MAP
Date: May 9, 2009
ID : 7C2V7337 [3888 x 2592]

Mallard Picture @ Kiwifoto.com
 
 
Location: Playa del Rey (Ballona Creek), CA
GPS: 34.0N, -118.4W, elev=0' MAP
Date: July 24, 2008
ID : 7C2V6077 [3888 x 2592]

nature photography

Mallard Photo @ Kiwifoto.com
 
 
Location: Playa del Rey (Ballona Creek), CA
GPS: 34.0N, -118.4W, elev=0' MAP
Date: July 24, 2008
ID : 7C2V6067 [3888 x 2592]

Mallard Photo @ Kiwifoto.com
 
 
Location: Ballona Lagoon, CA
GPS: 34.0N, -118.5W, elev=2' MAP
Date: November 5, 2006
ID : 2238 [3888 x 2592]

bird photography

Mallard Photo @ Kiwifoto.com
 
 
Location: San Francisco, CA
GPS: 37.8N, -122.4W, elev=46' MAP
Date: July 21, 2007
ID : ? [3888 x 2592]

nature photography

SPECIES INFO

The Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), the archetypal "wild duck", is a dabbling duck which breeds throughout the temperate and sub-tropical areas of North America, Europe, Asia, New Zealand, and Australia. Probably the best-known and most recognizable of all ducks. Almost all of the varieties of domesticated ducks are descended from the Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), apart from the Muscovy Duck.

It is strongly migratory in the northern parts of its breeding range, and winters farther south. For example, in North America it winters south to Mexico, but also regularly strays into Central America and the Caribbean between September and May. The Mallard is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies. Introduced into Australia and New Zealand, it is now the most common duck species in the latter country.

The dabbling duck is 5665 cm length, with an 8198 cm wingspan, and weighs 7501,000 g. The breeding male is unmistakable with a green head, black rear end and a yellow bill with a black tip (as opposed to the dark brown bill in females). The female Mallard is light brown, like most female dabbling ducks; however, both the female and male Mallards have distinct blue speculum edged with white, prominent in flight or at rest (though temporarily shedded during the annual summer molt). In non-breeding (eclipse) plumage, the drake becomes drab, looking more like the female, but still distinguishable by its bill, which remains yellow and its breast is more reddish.

The Mallard is a rare example of both Allen's Rule and Bergmann's Rule in birds. Bergmann's Rule, which states that polar forms tend to be larger than related ones from warmer climates, has numerous examples in birds. Allen's Rule says that appendages like ears tend to be smaller in polar forms to minimize heat loss, and larger in tropical and desert equivalents to facilitate heat diffusion, and that the polar taxa are stockier overall. Examples of this rule in birds are rare, as they lack external ears. However, the bill of ducks is very well supplied with blood vessels and is vulnerable to cold.

The size of the Mallard varies clinally, and birds from Greenland, although larger than birds further south, have smaller bills and are stockier. It is sometimes separated as subspecies Greenland Mallard (A. p. conboschas).

In captivity, domestic ducks come in wild-type plumages, white, and other colours. Most of these colour variants are also known in domestic mallards; there they are rare but increasing in availability.

A noisy species, the male has a nasal call, the female the "quack" always associated with ducks.

Mallards form pairs only until the female lays eggs, at which time she is left by the male. The clutch is 813 eggs, which are incubated for 2728 days to hatching with 5060 days to fledging. The ducklings are precocial, and can swim and feed themselves on insects as soon as they hatch, although they stay near the female for protection. Young ducklings are not naturally waterproof and rely on the mother to provide waterproofing. Mallards also have rates of male-male sexual activity that are unusually high for birds. In some cases, as many as 19% of pairs in a Mallard population are male-male homosexual.

When they pair off with mating partners, often one or several drakes will end up "left out". This group will sometimes target an isolated female duck chasing, pestering and pecking at her until she weakens (a phenomenon referred to by researchers as rape flight), at which point each male will take turns copulating with the female. Male Mallards will also occasionally chase other males in the same way. (In one documented case, a male Mallard copulated with another male he was chasing after it had been killed when it flew into a glass window.



                                     




nature photography
mallard's Range Map Click here to see the Mallard's range map!
Listen to the Mallard Call:



HOME · ABOUT ME · GALLERY · STOCKLIST · VIDEO · SEARCH · PRESS · CONTACT · BLOG · NEW STUFF
nature photography
All images and video © Copyright 2006-2016 Christopher Taylor, Content and maps by their respective owner. All rights reserved.
bird photography