Hunting Mallard

One of the most common in the world of waterfowl is the Mallard duck. Omnivorous and high adaptability to external conditions allowed the bird the Mallard to settle on all continents except Antarctica.

The feature of this type is a significant difference in coloration between females and males that can accurately determine the sex of a duck.

Due to unpretentiousness and good growth, many farmers and Amateurs have been breeding mallards.

Description and features

Description mallards should start with weight, because among all the types of ducks living in natural conditions, the Mallard is the largest: closer to the fall Drake mallards can collect up to 2 kg, the average summer weight of adult male is about 1.5 kg. the Weight of females ranges from 0.8 to 1.4 kg, depending on the amount of available forage.

The body length of the duck in the middle – 60 cm, wingspan can reach one metre, the average wing length is 28 cm from the drakes and 26 cm in females.

Judging by the plumage of the Drake and female Mallard ducks it is hard to believe that they belong to the same species. The color of the female is more suited for survival in natural conditions because it has a camouflage brown-red color of plumage. The abdomen is a darker shade. The beak can be dark gray or olive color. Legs orange or red.

The appearance of a Drake and female Mallard duck

The plumage of adult male resembles more the work of a talented artist: the head and neck are a dark green shade with a strong shimmer. On the neck you can clearly see the white border. Breast goiter and Drake have a dark brown hue. The lower part has a light grey color. Legs of males is orange, less red. The beak is olive.
The common element in coloration of females and males are a kind of purple patches on the outer part of the wings, which are clearly visible during takeoff or ducks shake their wings.

Ducklings have the same brownish-yellow color.

Black duck looks similar to female Mallard ordinary. Sexual dimorphism is weakly expressed. Males slightly more than females. Spin the black Mallard dark brown, the sides paler, the underparts are white with brown patches. Distinguishable feature is the black beak, the top of which is bright yellow. Legs orange.

Habitat

Mallard duck, like any other kind of ducks live near ponds or swamps. Prefers shallow lakes and slow rivers. The main criterion for the selection of habitats is the presence of reeds, thick bushes, old fallen trees on the waterfront. Such natural camouflage boom ducks needed to stay overnight and hatching eggs, so ponds with bare shores they don’t stop.
A female Mallard duck sits on the water

Despite the fact that Mallard common – pretty bird, they are often seen in urban reservoirs. At a constant feeding they get used to people and can come to your feeders very close.
Mallard refers to the migrant birds, so winter holds in areas with a mild climate: southern Europe, Iran, Iraq, South China, North India, Gulf of Mexico etc. Small part of the ducks can stay in the winter on ice-free reservoirs.

Food

So what is a Mallard duck? Representatives of this species is completely undemanding to your diet, so they eat what is in the moment in the pond. Throughout the day you can see a periodic dip the ducks into the water for food, water could be seen only the back and legs, sticking up. Pulling the head, a duck looking for food on the bottom: small fish, small frogs, eggs, algae, roots and more. A special delicacy for mallards is duckweed, which usually tightens the surface of still water.

Kind of method of forage restricts the Mallard in the choice of habitat, because the water depth shall not be greater than the length to which it can sink.

In summer, ducks are able to fly at a field with wheat, rye or other cereals for extra nutrition.

Reproduction

One year old ducks are ready to mate. Mating pairs are formed in autumn, so the winter they spend together. Depending on the habitat and of the need of flights to warmer climes, the breeding season may be in the range from April to August.

When the time comes, the female together with duck builds a nest, definitely a few steps from the water. It is a small depth, which is lined with dry remnants of vegetation. The male Mallard and the female guards the nest throughout the laying period. When the female goes directly to the eggs, the Drake leaves her and flies away to moult.

Clutches can range from 7 to 12 eggs, weighing about 50 g. White Mallard duck eggs have a characteristic greenish tint. At weaning, the female covers the eggs with down, which is going in the nest. If the eggs for some reason were destroyed, the female makes repeated laying, although they are often discarded.

After about 26-28 days of incubation almost simultaneously begin to hatch ducklings. After 10-12 hours, the mother leads the young to water. Growing offspring quickly – in two months their weight can reach about 0.8-1.0 kg.

Hunting

Mallard duck is a very tasty and nutritious meat. In addition, by the fall they gain a decent weight, which for hunters is an additional incentive.

Hunting mallards is a pretty interesting exercise. The behaviour of a wild Mallard duck in natural conditions can be described as extremely careful, therefore, to shoot it, it is necessary to resort to some tricks. Where can you find the Mallard? Of course the water. But if you just appear around, they are likely to fly away, leaving the hunter with nothing. Therefore, near the pond, where often birds, build a shelter from available natural materials found on location: the reeds, tree branches, etc.

In that thing for a hunter waiting for the birds. In the case of approximation we can attract them with a special decoy to Mallard imitating the quacking of ducks, or let the water rubber stuffed Mallard duck. Seeing or hearing relatives, ducks fall into the water.

Usually shoot shot 6-8 size. To get out of the water shot a trophy you can use hunting dogs, e.g., Spaniel.

Since the Mallard is the largest wild duck, it is a desirable trophy for each hunter. For those who can not or do not want to hunt, there is a simple alternative is to grow it at home.

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