Alberta

You’re a Mallard!

You were banded along the Bow River in Calgary on a cold spring’s day by a Ducks Unlimited Canada scientist.

You were searching for bugs to eat. Your mate, a female or hen, had laid 12 greenish-coloured eggs in a nest hidden in a grassy field nearby.  You left after nesting was underway. Your mate stayed to keep the eggs warm and care for the young when they hatch.

You needed to find a large marsh to begin your moult. This is a time when you lose your old worn feathers and grow new ones. You often hide from predators in the reeds during this time, because you can’t fly to escape them.

By late summer you joined other mallards to migrate south and were eventually spotted in northern California.

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Fast Facts:

  • a dabbling duck that eats at water surface or by tipping up
  • eats seeds, plants and invertebrates
  • ancestor of nearly all domestic duck breeds
  • may nest 3 or 4 times in the spring if its nest is destroyed by a predator like a skunk or crow
  • The most abundant and widely recognized duck in the world, this “puddle duck” will nest near any tiny body of water – including a backyard swimming pool!