Tag Archives: Mallard

Mallard hen with duckling

Sole survivor

By mid-July on the Rideau River this mallard hen has only one of her brood left. She will have started out with a brood of six to eight newly hatched ducklings in May-June, but ducklings fall prey to seagulls, snapping turtles and other predators very easily. Chances are the surviving duckling will not survive its first year of life. This is the reality in the natural world: 85% of the birds and animals born in spring do not last a year, but enough do last long enough to breed the following spring and perpetuate their species.

Photographed and posted by Geoffrey

Drake mallard in breeding plumage.

Drake mallard getting ready for the spring nesting season 2013. He found his mate in the wintering grounds and followed her north to the marsh where she was hatched. This process ensures the gene pool is spread across the northern breeding grounds. He is not a particularly devoted husband and father. When his mate finishes laying her eggs and begins incubation, he happily takes his leave.

Photographed and posted by Geoffrey