Thursday, 5 March 2015

Day 124 - Marvellous Mallards

Hi all today's Day 124 and I have a very common water bird that I haven't covered yet. I was surprised to see that I hadn't done them yet and so, I took the opportunity and started this post. As you can see from the title and pictures, the bird I am talking about is the Mallard.

So, let's get on with the facts:

    Male and Female Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
  • I have always thought that Mallards were common but they actually aren't. They are an Amber Status and there are only about 61,000-146,000 breeding pairs in the UK but during the winter they are joined by another 600,000 birds from Iceland and Northern Europe to bring the total up to 710,000 birds.
  • There is an internet myth that ducks' quacks don't echo. This is NOT true. This myth has probably come from the fact that you need to be in a place like a mountain or a canyon, somewhere that has something to reflect the sound back to you. But as ducks live in large open areas, people very rarely get to hear it happening.
    Group of Mallards
  • Staying on the subject of a Mallard's call, the 'quack-quack' of a female duck can actually be heard for miles around! This is probably for calling out to a potential mate.
  • They are a medium sized water bird being only 58cm in length and only sporting an 90cm wingspan. Male Mallards weigh 1.2kg while Females only weigh 980g.
  • The male and female mallard look so different from each other that they were originally thought to be separate species.
  • To get down to an Amber Status, they must have had a serious decline because in 2007 they were a Green Status bird.
    Male Mallard
  • They have a typical life span of 3 years but the oldest Mallard was 20 years 5 months and 17 days old!
  • These birds aren't found in the following habitats: Heathland, moorland, pasture, arable, marsh, bogs and reed beds but they are found in: lakes, ponds streams, rivers, estuaries and shores.
Here are some links to more information:

Hope you enjoyed,


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