Skip to main content

Quack, Quack!

One of the first birds we all recognize as children is the Mallard Duck. As kids we love to go to a pond and feed bread to the handsome green-headed males, and speckled brown beauty females, and they delight us by actually saying "quack, quack", just like the ducks on Old MacDonald's Farm.
As an adult I have learned to appreciate ducks as more than just a quacking bird. They fly bulky bodies with small triangular wings (next time you see one notice how quickly it has to flap it's wings to stay aloft). They are waterproof, and spend hours preening their feathers in order to maintain this feature. Mallards are dabbling ducks, which means they go butt up in the water to find tender nibbles down below the waters surface.
Mallard Drake in Breeding Plumage
A Beautifully Marked Mallard Hen
Mallards, like all ducks, breed in late winter, and the males are dressed to impress in their resplendent breeding plumage. Their iridescent heads gleam in the sun, changing from emerald green to a deep sapphire blue. After breeding season they will molt and be in "eclipse plumage", and their heads will appear muddled and drab.

Mallard Drake in Eclipse Plumage
Nothing is more adorable than seeing a mama Mallard with her ducklings. I always ask Jerry to, "take a few more photos!", and he always does. Quack, Quack!
Mallard Hen with Ducklings

Please remember not to feed ducks and geese bread. This is very bad for them, and can lead to diseases, and deformities. They have enough food, and do not need to be eating ours.