The mallard duck is a species of wild duck that is found mostly in wetlands. Read on for some interesting facts on this taxon of duck and about their lifestyle in the wild.
The avian kingdom is full of fascinating species of birds with their unique characteristics. One such interesting species is the mallard duck, whose zoological name is anas platyrhynchos platyrhynchos. This species of duck, which is also known as the wild duck, can be found in the wetlands of North America.
Other areas, apart from North America, where the duck species can be found are Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe and New Zealand, Being a waterfowl, the main habitat is river bogs and other wetlands that the birds mark as their territory.
The ducks also have some peculiar habits when it comes to laying eggs. Read further for more amazing information on this particular species of duck.
Classification of the Mallard Duck
The mallard duck is taxonomically classified as follows: Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Aves Order: Anseriformes Family: Anatidae Subfamily: Anatinae Genus: Anas Species: A. platyrhynchos Binomial Name: Anas platyrhynchos
Interesting Facts about the Mallard Duck
There are many fascinating facts about the duck and its habits. A few of the interesting and amazing facts about this species of duck is given here.
The greenhead duck is one of the abundant species of ducks with huge numbers, found chiefly in North America. The highest number of these waterfowls can be found in Alberta, Manitoba, North Dakota and the Prairie Pothole Region of Saskatchewan.
The distinctive feature that differentiates the male and female mallard ducks is the color of their bodies.
The male duck or drake has a green colored head with a yellow bill. The male ducks are also called greenheads. The body is brown colored with a white ring at the neck. The female, or hen, on the other hand has a tan-colored body, with an orange bill and white tail.
Being omnivorous, the diet of this fowl consists of aquatic plants, seeds, tender stems, leaves etc. These ducks also feed on insects, crustaceans, fish eggs and snails. Domesticated ducks can be fed grains, oats, barley, and spinach.
These dabbling ducks are migratory in nature and have the longest migration period, usually beginning in summer and ending in early winter season, when compared to other migratory birds. During the harsh winter season, the birds migrate to places that are warmer and go back to their original habitat once the climate returns to normal.
Just like other migratory birds, these ducks have a keen sense of direction and can recognize their marked territory from far.
This waterfowl can easily adapt itself to any environment. Hence these ducks can also be spotted roaming fearlessly near human habitation.
A group of ducks on ground is called a sord, and while the ducks are in flight it is called flock. The ducks fly in a V-shaped pattern while migrating.
Being a noisy species, the duck sounds are usually heard during the breeding season. The female species are louder and have a distinctive quack. The females use this sound to attract prospective mates.
After a gestation period of approximately 30 days the female duck lays about 12 to 14 eggs. While laying eggs, which are creamy or greenish in color, the hens are very selective of the place for building the nest. They usually prefer the place, where they were hatched.
The female builds nests made of breast feathers and twigs near water bodies. The ducklings are able to fend for themselves as soon as they hatch out of the eggs. They are also precocial, which means they can swim on their own without any assistance from the parent.
This duck species is a family oriented bird and can always be found with its ducklings.
This was a brief overview regarding the mallard duck. With proper care and feeding, you can even raise these ducks yourself, as pets.