The Mallard is our most commonest duck; and the male, probably one of the most colourful.
Wherever there’s water, there’s probably a Mallard or two; the British breeding population is estimated at 63-159,000 pairs.
The male has a dark green head, a yellow bill, is mainly purple-brown on the breast and grey on the body.
The plain brown colour of the female is so different from the male that they were originally thought to be separate species, they both have orange-red legs and a yellow-olive coloured bill.
Their diet? Mainly grasses and water plants, but they’ll also eat seeds, acorns and berries, insects and shellfish. And of course, the odd slice of bread. It’s no wonder they are so successful.
Nest building is by the female, and the incubation, and the looking after the young. Seems the male is more interested in the mating part; he leaves everything else to the female.
She’ll lay anything up to 16 creamy coloured eggs, 57 x 41 mm in size, usually about March, and begin her 28 day incubation period when the last egg has been laid.
Yea, she could perform her life standing on one leg.
And while the male flies around looking pretty,
the female can take a bow, for being such a busy girl.