They can often be seen head dipping or completely upending in the water in search of food. [51][52] For example, in North America, it winters south to the southern United States and northern Mexico,[53][54] but also regularly strays into Central America and the Caribbean between September and May. [10], Mallards frequently interbreed with their closest relatives in the genus Anas, such as the American black duck, and also with species more distantly related, such as the northern pintail, leading to various hybrids that may be fully fertile. 8-13 eggs are usually laid and these are incubated for 27-28 days. … If you would like to buy duck decoys in nz … It is named after Lake Cayuga in New York State, where it was first officially recognised around 1850. [77][79] The ducklings are precocial and fully capable of swimming as soon as they hatch. The ideal location for hunting mallards is considered to be where the water level is somewhat shallow where the birds can be found foraging for food. It is part of the species of Dabbling Ducks. [126] Domestic ducks are mostly kept for meat; their eggs are also eaten, and have a strong flavour. The exact origins of the black Cayuga duck are unclear. [91] In North America, adult mallards face no fewer than 15 species of birds of prey, from northern harriers (Circus hudsonius) and short-eared owls (Asio flammeus) (both smaller than a mallard) to huge bald, (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) white-tailed (H. albicilla) and golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos), and about a dozen species of mammalian predator, not counting several more avian and mammalian predators who threaten eggs and nestlings. [93] Crows (Corvus spp.) Mallard Duck: The mallard is the most common duck in New Zealand and the Northern Hemisphere. [65] During the breeding season, male birds were recorded to have eaten 37.6% animal matter and 62.4% plant matter, most notably the grass Echinochloa crus-galli, and nonlaying females ate 37.0% animal matter and 63.0% plant matter, while laying females ate 71.9% animal matter and only 28.1% plant matter. [41] Examples of this rule in birds are rare as they lack external ears, but the bill of ducks is supplied with a few blood vessels to prevent heat loss,[42] and, as in the Greenland mallard, the bill is smaller than that of birds farther south, illustrating the rule. In contrast to the rather drab female, the breeding male (drake) is easily distinguished by its iridescent dark green head, rusty chest, white neck ring, grey body, blue band across the wing (bordered with black), black tail and undertail, yellowish orange bill tipped with black and orange-red legs and feet. [12] The distinct lineages of this radiation are usually kept separate due to non-overlapping ranges and behavioural cues, but have not yet reached the point where they are fully genetically incompatible. [78] The eggs are laid on alternate days, and incubation begins when the clutch is almost complete. The Mallard is about 20 to 28 inches in height with a wingspan of nearly three feet. Unlike many waterfowl, mallards are considered an invasive species in some regions. Female mallards are also known to carry out 'inciting displays', which encourages other ducks in the flock to begin fighting. [126] They were first domesticated in Southeast Asia at least 4,000 years ago, during the Neolithic Age, and were also farmed by the Romans in Europe, and the Malays in Asia. The mallard became a celebrity last year when he became the only duck on the island around 1,500 miles (2,400 kilometres) northeast of New Zealand. [39] Bergmann's Rule, which states that polar forms tend to be larger than related ones from warmer climates, has numerous examples in birds,[40] as in case of the Greenland mallard which is larger than the mallards further south. [26] The female mallard is predominantly mottled, with each individual feather showing sharp contrast from buff to very dark brown, a coloration shared by most female dabbling ducks, and has buff cheeks, eyebrow, throat, and neck, with a darker crown and eye-stripe. [86] Lebret (1961) calls this behaviour "Attempted Rape Flight", and Stanley Cramp and K.E.L. [105] Hybrid offspring of Hawaiian ducks seem to be less well adapted to native habitat, and using them in re-introduction projects apparently reduces success. Breeding: In the spring the females build down lined nests on the ground in dense vegetation. [66] Plants generally make up the larger part of a bird's diet, especially during autumn migration and in the winter. Almost all domestic duck breeds derive from the mallard, with the exception of a few Muscovy breeds. [19] The Mariana mallard was a resident allopatric population – in most respects a good species – apparently initially derived from mallard-Pacific black duck hybrids;[118] unfortunately, it became extinct in the late twentieth century. [115] If this continues, only hybrids occur and in the long term result in the extinction of various indigenous waterfowl. We are extremely grateful for any support. [27] Upon hatching, the plumage of the duckling is yellow on the underside and face (with streaks by the eyes) and black on the back (with some yellow spots) all the way to the top and back of the head. They do migrate for mating and to avoid cooler weather times of the year. Some believe the New Zealand grey duck is now pretty much extinct as a pure species. [100] The release of feral mallards in areas where they are not native sometimes creates problems through interbreeding with indigenous waterfowl. [citation needed] However, filial imprinting compels them to instinctively stay near the mother, not only for warmth and protection but also to learn about and remember their habitat as well as how and where to forage for food. peregrine falcons, Aquila eagles, or Haliaeetus eagles. [88] These eggs are generally accepted when they resemble the eggs of the host mallard, but the hen may attempt to eject them or even abandon the nest if parasitism occurs during egg laying. They have been introduced to Brazil, Peru, Australia, New Zealand, Uruguay, Falklands Islands, Chile, South Africa, and Argentine. MALES AND FEMALES LOOK VERY DIFFERENT. [81], During the breeding season, both male and female mallards can become aggressive, driving off competitors to themselves or their mate by charging at them. [38], The mallard is a rare example of both Allen's Rule and Bergmann's Rule in birds. Buy and sell Ducks on Trade Me. [29] Between three and four months of age, the juvenile can finally begin flying, as its wings are fully developed for flight (which can be confirmed by the sight of purple speculum feathers). [103], The Eastern or Chinese spot-billed duck is currently introgressing into the mallard populations of the Primorsky Krai, possibly due to habitat changes from global warming. [113], Availability of mallards, mallard ducklings, and fertilised mallard eggs for public sale and private ownership, either as poultry or as pets, is currently legal in the United States except for the state of Florida, which has currently banned domestic ownership of mallards. [85], The drakes that end up being left out after the others have paired off with mating partners sometimes target an isolated female duck, even one of a different species, and proceed to chase and peck at her until she weakens, at which point the males take turns copulating with the female. [86] Male mallards also occasionally chase other male ducks of a different species, and even each other, in the same way. [21], Due to the variability of the mallard's genetic code, which gives it its vast interbreeding capability, mutations in the genes that decide plumage colour are very common and have resulted in a wide variety of hybrids such as Brewer's duck (mallard × gadwall, Mareca strepera). [61] Its diet may vary based on several factors, including the stage of the breeding cycle, short-term variations in available food, nutrient availability, and interspecific and intraspecific competition. The bill is yellow or orange with variable splotches of black and the legs are orangy-red. Mallards live in wetlands, eat water plants and small animals, and are social animals preferring to congregate in groups or flocks of varying sizes. When incubating a nest, or when offspring are present, females vocalise differently, making a call that sounds like a truncated version of the usual quack. [130], Mallards are one of the most common varieties of ducks hunted as a sport due to the large population size. This blue patch is known as speculum, and it is most visible in flight. [24], The breeding male mallard is unmistakable, with a glossy bottle-green head and a white collar that demarcates the head from the purple-tinged brown breast, grey-brown wings, and a pale grey belly. [78] Incubation takes 27–28 days and fledging takes 50–60 days. [31] This change in plumage also applies to adult mallard males when they transition in and out of their non-breeding eclipse plumage at the beginning and the end of the summer moulting period. [103][111] In summary, the problems of mallards "hybridising away" relatives is more a consequence of local ducks declining than of mallards spreading; allopatric speciation and isolating behaviour have produced today's diversity of mallard-like ducks despite the fact that, in most, if not all, of these populations, hybridisation must have occurred to some extent. Using the key below if your duck scores more than 7 it … [98], Unlike many waterfowl, mallards have benefited from human alterations to the world – so much so that they are now considered an invasive species in some regions. [56][57], The mallard inhabits a wide range of habitats and climates, from Arctic tundra to subtropical regions. © 2020 New Zealand Bird Rescue Charitable Trust, Entanglement – such as nylon, cotton or tape wrapped around their legs, plastic bottle rings caught around their neck or beak. [120][1] Mallards sometimes arrive on its island home during migration, and can be expected to occasionally have remained and hybridised with Laysan ducks as long as these species have existed. [33] The female gadwall (Mareca strepera) has an orange-lined bill, white belly, black and white speculum that is seen as a white square on the wings in flight, and is a smaller bird. Mallards have orange legs and feet. When Mallards mix with Gadwall Anas strepera the resulting offspring is known as Brewer’s Duck, named by John James Audubon after his friend, the ornithologist Thomas Brewer. The surprising feature here is not the male hybrid's bib or side but the dark female with patches of shiny green head. The mallard (/ˈmælɑːrd, ˈmælərd/) (Anas platyrhynchos) is a dabbling duck that breeds throughout the temperate and subtropical Americas, Eurosiberia, and North Africa and has been introduced to New Zealand, Australia, Peru, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, the Falkland Islands, and South Africa. [116] Mallards and their hybrids compete with indigenous birds for resources, including nest sites, roosting sites, and food. They are most numerous in pastoral … and geese during the breeding season, and are frequently driven off by these birds over territorial disputes. Mallard hybrid, with "normal" Mallard inset for reference. The female lays eight to thirteen creamy white to greenish-buff spotless eggs, on alternate days. [11] This is quite unusual among such different species, and is apparently because the mallard evolved very rapidly and recently, during the Late Pleistocene. The green head and yellow bill of the mallard duck is a familiar sight to many people living in the Northern hemisphere. Mallards are the most familiar and most widespread dabbling duck in the world, and knowing how to properly identify these ducks is the key to understanding the identification of all ducks, including picking out the mallard clues in hybrid ducks. The Mallard Duck is also found in Central America, Australia, and New Zealand. [124], Mallards have had a long relationship with humans. [117], The mallard is considered an invasive species in New Zealand,[22]:505 where it competes with the local New Zealand grey duck, which was overhunted in the past. Ducklings can swim and feed themselves insects as soon as they are born, they leave the nest soon after hatching, but stay near their mother for protection, warmth and education on how to cope in the wild. There are lots of different reasons Mallards are brought to our centres: If you find a sick, injured or orphaned duck(ling) it is best to get it to your nearest rescue centre as soon as possible. It is a common pastime for children to feed ducks bread, it is important, however, that they are fed on land and not in the water, the reason for this is that bread creates build up of excess toxins in the water which causes botulism (food poisoning) and untreated this is potentially fatal. The male duck, also known as drake, has a distinctive green head with a white neck ring. The scientific name for the Mallard Duck is Anas Platyrhynchos. Be careful you are not “stealing” chicks from their mother before she returns. The Mallard Duck lives in subtropical and temperate regions. [123], Mallards have often been ubiquitous in their regions among the ponds, rivers, and streams of human parks, farms, and other human-made waterways – even to the point of visiting water features in human courtyards. [4] The scientific name comes from Latin Anas, "duck" and Ancient Greek πλατυρυγχος, platyrhynchus, "broad-billed" (from πλατύς, platys, "broad" and ρυγχός, rhunkhos, "bill"). [125] Mallards are generally monogamous while domestic ducks are mostly polygamous. [22]:506 The bill of the male is a yellowish-orange tipped with black, with that of the female generally darker and ranging from black to mottled orange and brown. The U.S. They can also be found in areas of North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. 4. [131] Hunting mallards might cause the population to decline in some places, at some times, and with some populations. Its bill soon loses its dark grey colouring, and its sex can finally be distinguished visually by three factors: 1) the bill is yellow in males, but black and orange in females;[30][self-published source] 2) the breast feathers are reddish-brown in males, but brown in females;[30] and 3) in males, the centre tail feather (drake feather) is curled, but in females, the centre tail feather is straight. Also, the population size of the mallard is very large. [67][68], The mallard usually feeds by dabbling for plant food or grazing; there are reports of it eating frogs. Only the male mallards have the iridescent green … Incubation takes 27 to 28 days and fledging takes 50 to 60 days. It is highly gregarious outside of the breeding season and forms large flocks, which are known as "sordes. [122] It is one of the successfully translocated birds, after having become nearly extinct in the early twentieth century. Mallards can be found near almost any waterway but are commonly found in parks and ponds. [15], Also, the paucity of morphological differences between the Old World mallards and the New World mallard demonstrates the extent to which the genome is shared among them such that birds like the Chinese spot-billed duck are highly similar to the Old World mallard, and birds such as the Hawaiian duck are highly similar to the New World mallard. There, and elsewhere, mallards are spreading with increasing urbanisation and hybridising with local relatives. Their numbers increase during wet periods and decline when there are droughts in the middle of the continentover the last 50 years their estimated numbers have cycled between about 5 million and 11 million. [5] The genome of Anas platyrhynchos was sequenced in 2013. The wild mallard was eaten in Neolithic Greece. The belly is pale and the tail whitish. [35] Most of these colour variants are also known in domestic mallards not bred as livestock, but kept as pets, aviary birds, etc., where they are rare but increasing in availability. We use givealittle.co.nz to take donations via credit card and givealittle vouchers (a great gift idea). The mallard is 50–65 cm (20–26 in) long, of which the body makes up around two-thirds the length. Mallard Ducks are included in the family Anatidae and subfamily Anatinae. The male birds (drakes) have a glossy green head and are grey on their wings and belly, while the females (hens or ducks) have mainly brown-speckled plumage. Put 15g of butter, the parsley and the half orange inside the bird and truss. It has a blue patch on the top side of its wings with a white line around it. You can click the secure "donate" button below to make an immediate donation. The Mallard Duck is not native to New Zealand but is our most common duck. Orphaned – Mothers frequently “plant” their chicks and go off to find themselves extra food, when they come back to their young, they call to their chicks who come running to their mother. [31] The adulthood age for mallards is fourteen months, and the average life expectancy is three years, but they can live to twenty. [2] He gave it two binomial names: Anas platyrhynchos and Anas boschas. Laysan ducks were found throughout the Hawaiian archipelago before 400 CE, after which they suffered a rapid decline during the Polynesian colonisation. It may surprise you to learn that some of them even live in the Arctic tundra though. From 1867 repeated attempts were made to acclimatise English game farm stock, but these failed. Grey ducks have olive legs and feet. A. p. domesticus Linnaeus, 1758 [59] Water depths of less than 0.9 metres (3.0 ft) are preferred, with birds avoiding areas more than a few metres deep. The Mallard Duck is also known as the Wild Duck Mallard Ducks are the most abundant and widespread of all waterfowl. The typical white "bib" on the chest (above and below) indicates a Mallard cross with a white domestic duck of Mallard-type stock. [citation needed], Over time, a continuum of hybrids ranging between almost typical examples of either species develop; the speciation process is beginning to reverse itself. [9] Masle (male) has also been proposed as an influence. A. p. conboschas C. L. Brehm, 1831 (disputed). ", "Bergmann's and Allen's Rules in Native European and Mediterranean Phasmatodea", "A test of Allen's rule in ectotherms: the case of two south American Melanopline Grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae) with partially overlapping geographic ranges", "Trevor the lonely duck gets tiny island of Niue in a flap", "Mallard Duck • Elmwood Park Zoo | Elmwood Park Zoo | www.elmwoodparkzoo.org", "Flexibility of Continental Navigation and Migration in European Mallards", "Foods consumed by breeding mallards on wetlands of south-central North Dakota", "Wild ducks caught on camera snacking on small birds", "Vocalizations of the Mallard (Anas Platyrhynchos)", "Female mate preferences and subsequent resistance to copulation in the mallard", "The first case of homosexual necrophilia in the mallard Anas platyrhynchos (Aves:Anatidae)", "Impact of Red Fox Predation on the Sex Ratio of Prairie Mallards", "The evolutionary impact of invasive species", "Hawaiian Duck's Future Threatened by Feral Mallards", "Extinction by hybridization and introgression in anatine ducks", "Mitochondrial gene trees and the evolutionary relationship of Mallard and Black Ducks", "Haldane's rule and American black duck × mallard hybridization", "Hybridization patterns and the evolution of reproductive isolation in ducks", "Invasive Alien Bird Species Pose A Threat, Kruger National Park, Siyabona Africa Travel (Pty) Ltd – South Africa Safari Travel Specialist", "Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds", "Those mighty mallards can bust the speed limit", Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, "Recovery Strategy – Laysan Duck Revised Recovery Plan", "Raising Mallard Ducks: How to Raise Mallards In Your Backyard Duck Yard – DuckHobby.com", British Association for Shooting and Conservation, Hunting and shooting in the United Kingdom, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mallard&oldid=991913927, Native birds of the Eastern United States, Articles with self-published sources from December 2017, Articles with unsourced statements from February 2019, Articles with unsourced statements from August 2017, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 2 December 2020, at 14:04. Wipe the duck inside and out with a paper towel. Trevor the duck was named after New Zealand’s parliamentary speaker, Trevor Mallard. [15] The large Ice Age palaeosubspecies that made up at least the European and West Asian populations during the Pleistocene has been named Anas platyrhynchos palaeoboschas. This is to prevent hybridisation with the native mottled duck. [114] The hybrids of mallards and the yellow-billed duck are fertile, capable of producing hybrid offspring. [136], Game animals and shooting in North America, International Union for Conservation of Nature, Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds, "Anas platyrhynchos (Common Mallard, Mallard, Northern Mallard)", "Evolutionary relationships among the North American mallards", "The duck genome and transcriptome provide insight into an avian influenza virus reservoir species", "Experimental studies of hybridization among ducks and pheasants", "Late Pleistocene Birds from Kingston Saltpeter Cave, Southern Appalachian Mountains, Georgia", "Phylogeny and biogeography of dabbling ducks (genus, 10.1642/0004-8038(2005)122[0949:POTMAP]2.0.CO;2, 10.1642/0004-8038(2005)122[1309:POTMAP]2.0.CO;2, "Evolution and connectivity in the world-wide migration system of the mallard: Inferences from mitochondrial DNA", 10.1642/0004-8038(2004)121[0930:AHASGF]2.0.CO;2, "Phylogenetics of a recent radiation in the mallards and allies (Aves: Anas): inferences from a genomic transect and the multispecies coalescent", "Global warming and Bergmann's rule: do central European passerines adjust their body size to rising temperatures? 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