Mallard Ducks –

Mallard drake and hen

Mallard Ducks –

Mallards are the most numerous species of duck in North America.  If you see ducks, you can bet a mallard drake (male) and hen (female) will be in the mix.  They need open water in winter, like the small patch on this lake that these two have found.  Mallards do not dive to feed, but instead dabble.  This means swimming and walking around the lake eating vegetation, aquatic insects and small fish.

The cold water doesn’t bother the ducks in winter at all.  They have a special gland that produces waterproof oil that they coat over all their feathers.  The cold doesn’t make them freeze since their down feathers keep them warm.

Even though they migrate south to warmer climates, they still see plenty of ice and snow.  Their down feathers are such great insulation that humans have been using their technology for thousands of years.  Goose-down jackets are the best clothes you can wear in cold weather.

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to the Wilder Newsletter