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Mallard

About Mallard

The male has greenish head, narrow white collar, gray back and underparts, dark purplish-brown breast, orange legs, and greenish-yellow bill. The female is mottled brown, with brown bill. Both have large blue wingpatch edged with white.

The mallards nest in a hollow in the ground usually under a bush or hedge, lined with leaves and grass mixed with down and feathers. The female will lay 7-12 greenish-gray to tawny-green or bluish eggs that are incubated for 28-29 days.

They are wild, however, they are great opportunists; they live on urban lakes and ponds, eat scraps and handouts, and will become tame enough to eat out of your hand. The mallard is one of the most common and widespread of all waterbirds. A mallard usually gathers its food floating on the top or near the top of the water by “dabbling” with its bill. The sides of the bill are lined with comb-like “lamellae” that acts as a filter, straining edible particles from the water. It will upend to take food from the bottom but, only if the water is less than 18 inches deep.