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Interesting facts about the mallard duck

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We found 20 interesting facts about mallard ducks

Anas Platyrinhos

The mallard is the most popular game bird in Poland. It is very numerous and easily inhabits various environments to which it adapts well. Although this species is readily and frequently hunted by hunters, it is not afraid of humans or avoids their company, often swimming short distances (in the hope of being fed). Please remember not to feed these birds bread, as such a diet can lead to a fatal disease in adult ducks - angel wing.

1

During the breeding season it is found in northern North America, Greenland, northern Europe and Central Asia up to Kamchatka. Found year-round in the USA, Western Europe, Turkey, Kazakhstan, China, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and northern Iran.

Winters in the southern USA, Mexico, Cuba, along the Nile in Egypt and Sudan, India, Pakistan and Japan.

2

It lives in many different environments.

They can be found both in the tundra and in the subtropics, in both fresh and brackish waters. They prefer shallow waters covered with aquatic plants. where the bottom depth is less than one meter.

3

This is an easily adaptable species that can live even in urban environments.

In some regions of the world it is considered an invasive species, capable of displacing more sensitive waterfowl species.

4

The domestic duck is descended from the common mallard.

There are more than 300 breeds of these birds. They are bred for their eggs, feathers and meat, and also as ornamental animals. The first documented cases of domestication 4000 years ago come from Southeast Asia. They were also bred in Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, but were not domesticated there. To prevent them from escaping, they are taught to return home or their wings are clipped.

5

Outside the breeding season, both sexes are similar to each other.

The color of the plumage is creamy brown with a lighter dewlap. The beak is orange with black spots running through the eye. The male has a yellow beak, rusty breast coloration and black tail coverts.

6

During the breeding season, the color of the male changes greatly.

The head takes on an opalescent green color and is separated from the rest of the steel-brown body by a narrow white stripe. The breast is brown and also iridescent. The rectangles are white and gray, except for the middle two, which are black.

7

It has been introduced to Australia, New Zealand and South America.

It was also introduced to New Caledonia, but the local population became extinct. Due to its migratory nature, it can be found in the Caribbean.

8

It is a medium-sized waterfowl. Males are larger and heavier than females.

Body length is from 50 to 65 cm, wingspan is from 81 to 98 cm. The weight of an adult is from 0.7 to 1.6 kg.

9

They fly very well and can reach speeds of up to 90 km/h.

10

This is an omnivorous species, very flexible in its choice of food.

The bulk of the mallard's diet consists of snails, beetles, dragonflies and flies, earthworms, crustaceans and aquatic vegetation. During the breeding, migration and wintering seasons, almost ⅔ of their diet consists of plant foods.

11

The breeding season runs from April to July.

They usually form monogamous pairs, but males can also mate with other females.

12

They build nests on the ground or in trees, usually close to the shore, although this is not the rule.

They are usually made of grass and trimmed with feathers.

13

They produce one clutch per year, the female lays from 8 to 13 eggs.

They are light cream in color and measure 58 x 32 mm. They are laid every other day, and the female begins to incubate them when they are almost all laid. The chicks hatch after about 28 days and remain chicks for another 50–60 days.

14

The young are early maturing and are able to swim immediately after hatching.

However, they remain close to their mother and become independent after about 2 months. They reach sexual maturity at the age of 14 months.

15

The global mallard population is estimated at 19 million.

During the breeding season there are 900 1,2 birds in Poland. up to XNUMX million pieces. The mallard is perhaps the most numerous species of duck.

16

They interbreed easily with other duck species.

Such crosses often remain fertile.

17

The average lifespan of a mallard in the wild is 3 years. However, they can live much longer, even more than 20 years.

The oldest documented age of these birds is 29 years.

18

They most often fall prey to birds of prey, crows, weasels, snakes, raccoons, foxes and large fish such as catfish and pike.

They are also hunted; in Poland, the mallard hunting season lasts from September 1 to December 31.

19

Already in the Neolithic period in Greece, people hunted these birds. Due to their large numbers, they became victims of hunters more often than other species.

They are most often prepared by stewing or baking with sweet additions such as apples, pears or cranberries.

20

This is not an endangered species.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists the mallard as a species of Least Concern.

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