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Monday, August 7, 2017

Mallard Duck

"Anas Platyrhynchos", more commonly known as the Mallard Duck is one of the more commonly seen semi-aquatic birds in North America. Due to it's high population it is still a least concern although to is the most hunted duck in the United States. One in every three ducks killed due to hunting are Mallards. Unlike other birds, Mallards are very easy to point out, especially the males. The females are a mottled brown color all over their bodies with the exception of a blue-purple patch on their wing feathers. The males bare a striking green head, a white neckband , a chestnut colored chest, and a gray body and wings. They also have a patch on blue-purple feathers on their wings. Mallards tend to mate in the spring, but they actually find suitable mates in the fall, and court each other through the winter. Mallards live in wetland and are waters dwellers, so unlike most they lay eggs in holes dug in moist ground. Materials aren't used to dig the nests, the are only used to disguise and protect the nest and eggs. Mallards mainly eat seeds and vegetation, with the exception of mating season where they eat animal matter , like insect larvae, works, and freshwater shrimp for instance. Mallards are also drawn to places heavily populated by humans. The are drawn dude to people constantly catering to them with handouts such as bread crumbs. Because of their familiarity with humans, when people are around they tend to be very docile and approachable if not bothered. Finally, Mallards are Migrators.  In their spring breeding season, they fly north. They would fly into northern Canada if they were in North America . When the winter season comes they would fly into the southern United States. They are also very strong,  efficient migrators. Migrating flocks have been estimated at flying at around 55 per hour.

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