Sunday, March 23, 2008

Male Mallard -- Spring

Who doesn’t recognize a male mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) when they see one? After all, mallards live on every continent but Antarctica, and their glossy green heads and necks and yellow bills are so distinctive. However, the female is less colourful and therefore not as recognizable. She’s a dull, mottled brown with an orange bill.

Common, yes, but it’s still a joy to see the first mallards each spring -- it usually means the ice is melting on the ponds and lakes. This solitary mallard has found a small hole in the ice, Brrrr. How can he swim when the temperature is below freezing?

Adaptable (or maybe not fussy?), they’ll nest just about anywhere there’s water. They prefer grasslands, which is why so many breed in the Prairie Provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta), but more than a few have been known to waddle with their brood across Canadian city streets, stopping traffic.

6 comments:

Small City Scenes said...

They are very beautiful with the iridescent head. We have flocks of them here. They is a pair staking out my pond. I wonder if they will stay. MB

alice said...

It's my first visit to your DP blog, and I'm enjoying it very much.
Yes, we can see ducks like this one in Brittany, and we also have geese which could be "cousin" of yours! But, when they are coming in your place, ours are leaving to the North...
I wish you a good Sunday!

LUIZ SANTILLI JR. said...

I'll link your blog to
GOOD READINGS.

I wish you have a Happy Easter!

Luiz (form Brazil)

Kris McCracken said...

I'm seeing a lot of photos of ducks, but this one is maybe the finest looking one!

Kostas said...

Cute the duck, does not almost appear, in in water!
Very good and informative the comment. I thank!

Marcel said...

I love the mallards and always enjoy watching them too. I hope you had a great Easter.

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East Gwillimbury is a rural town less than an hour north of Toronto, Canada's largest city. My family calls me CameraGirl because I take my camera with me wherever I go.