Mallard Duck - Blank Park Zoo

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Scientific Name: mallard
Anas platyrhyncos
Class:
Aves
Order:
Anseriformes
Family:
Anatidae
Feeding Type:
Omnivorous
Range:
Throughout Europe Asia, and North America
Habitat:
Ponds, lakes and marshes
Diet in the Wild:
Aquatic plants, insects and mollusks
Diet at the Zoo:
Gamebird, spinanch
Longevity:Duck Bill
up to 29 years in captivity
Description:
Mallards are about 23 inches long and 2 to 3 pounds. In the summer, male mallard ducks have a distinctive green head with a white neck ring, while females are of a duller brown plumage with black markings. They are relatively similar in the fall and winter. Both genders have a bright blue patch on their wings, known as a speculum. The specula are more visible in flight.
Adaptation/Behavior:
Mallards tend to nest close to water and they dabble for food in an upended position. Their feet are webbed which aids in paddling and their bills have a sharp “nail” on the tip that is used to graze grass and pick up small prey. The mallard can also filter tiny animals from the water by means of the comb-like membranes, known as lamellae, that line the inside of its bill.
Courtship/Breeding:
Groups of male mallards chase and display to females all winter long, especially in February and March. Once a drake has attracted a female, he stays at her side to prevent mating from other males. After laying a clutch of 8 to 11 eggs, the drake takes no part in rearing the young. Incubation is about 25 days, and the ducklings follow their mother immediately on land and water.
Conservation:    
Mallard ducks are at a lower risk.

Interesting Facts

Our Animals

  • Mallards are strong fliers.
  • May breed with other duck species, including the Black Duck and the Pintail.
  • The Zoo has one male.
  • It is not on exhibit and is an education animal.
  • Wild mallards inhabit the ponds at the Zoo.

 

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