The mallard is a migratory
water fowl, so we see most of them during the winter. However,
the increase in number of city park ponds, and multitudes of people who
enjoy feeding the ducks, many wild mallards have decided that migration
is for the birds. So we have increasing numbers of non migratory
frequently seen flying over, going from one pond (or swimming pool) to
another. Occasionally they stop to browse on the lawn. The male
is the colorful one of this pair. Those who have swimming pools
are well advised to keep them covered when not in use. If a
nesting pair takes a liking to a yard and pool, it is theirs until the
end of the season. Remember, they are "migratory water fowl", and
therefore protected by international treaty even though they do not
Trios of mallards are often seen, like
these two males and one female.
Park ducks are an interesting mix.
Large white barnyard mallards
are abandoned by the thousands in parks each year. Their owners
have learned the hard way that those cute, cuddly Easter ducklings
don't stay cute and cuddly for long. So they dump their large,
noisy, hungry, messy pets for someone else to clean up after.
Wild mallards interbreed with the domestic variety. This
results in small, wild size, pure white ducks that can fly, and large
wild colored ducks that can't fly,
along with every combination of color and size in between.
[Birds] [ Back Yard Biology] [ Science Can Be Fun]