The Mallard Duck

The Mallard Duck is one of the most common of all dabbling ducks in North America.  Here in north Arkansas you see the Mallard arrive around November, and they may stick around until the first of March.  They are not as common here on the farm as the Gadwall or the Ring Neck duck, but I do see a few from time to time and I always get so excited when I see that bright green head.

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The reason the male Mallard gets its nick name “Green Head”  is not hard to see.  When the sun hits its head there is such a brilliant green color that sometimes even gives it a blue color. Its black tail-curl is one of its unusual traits along with its amazing color.

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The Mallard duck is a beauty with wing feathers of blue and is considered one of the most colorful of all ducks.    DSC_0326

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The little female standing on the log is just as beautiful, even though she lacks the beautiful green head, she makes up for her beauty in many other ways.  Her wings are stripped in blue just like the male Mallard and her body feathers are stripped in beautiful brown pattern.untitled-1-of-1-29-3ab To me, she is just as beautiful as her handsome mate.

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The Mallard is a dabbling duck and can be found in any wetland habitat.  They eat from the bottom of ponds sticking their tail in the air as they dabble on the bottom for food just as the two Gadwal are doing below.

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Photographing water foul can be very challenging, and capturing a duck in flight can be very rewarding.   There is nothing more beautiful or exciting than a flawless photo of a duck..  It is always exciting to go through your photos and be amazed at what you have captured on your camera.

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Setting, watching and listening to ducks fly over your head and land on a pond or lake is quite amazing.  They have very sharp eyes and can see you very easily setting on the ground.    You want to make sure you are well hid and covered where they cannot see your skin such as your face or hands.   Looking up when they are trying to land will make them fly away and they will not land.

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A fact that I found interesting is how long the Mallard can live.  The oldest one on record was 27 years old and was shot in my home state of Arkansas in 2008.  The bird was banded in Louisiana in 1981.

Until next time….

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