March 29th 2014

The most widespread  duck in the world is the Mallard, which probably explains why we even get them occasionally on our tiny ponds in the garden. Today a pair of these dabbling ducks spent ages on our neighbours pond and grass. One reason for the Mallard’s success is it’s flexible feeding habits-  they can eat invertebrates, worms, tubers, roots, plants and seeds. Mallard form pairs as early as October or November and stay together until the females begin to lay their eggs, when the males go off together and  live in a ‘men’s group’, leaving the females to bring up the young. Nesting time is stressful for the female because she lays more than half her body weight in eggs! The nesting place is away from ground-predators, often up high. Chicks can swim as soon as they are born, and if you’re lucky you may see the big broods dropping several feel from a nest in a tree or bank, without coming to harm.

Female Mallard

Female Mallard

Male Mallard

Male Mallard

. Conditions: High cloud and cool start becoming very warm with some sun. Temperature: Max 16- Min 8c

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