Posts Tagged ‘domestic mallard’

On the nest, glowering


I don’t know how strong her brooding instinct is. Pekins usually don’t have enough to hatch out their own ducklings, but she’s got a nest in a brush pile.

The father would be a Rouen drake, so the ducklings will be of many colors.



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He’s almost done growing in his adult breeding plumage:




And he has discovered his purpose in life, nailing two pekin hens within five minutes:



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Getting pretty

The surviving Rouen drake is starting to look very dapper.


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Boys to men

The two Rouen drakes are now growing in their adult plumage now. I can see some green feathers on their heads now. It won’t be long before they are full greenheads. Their gray penciled feathers are coming in, and their breasts are now a chestnut color.

If you’ve seen my recent videos, they are also making the drake vocalization, which sounds like some kind of frog. It’s not a quack. Only hens quack.


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Mallard derivatives often engage in a foraging behavior that some people call “drilling.” ¬†Whenever these ducks encounter standing water, their instincts tell them that water has tendency to draw out worms and other invertebrates. The best way to capitalize on this situation is to stick their bills into the water or mud and to force the water out of through these tooth-like structures on the insides of their mouths. Any worms or invertebrates that are caught on these structures are quickly eaten.

It is almost like how baleen whales feed, but it’s done much smaller amounts of water and so rapidly that it appears as if the ducks are drilling into the at full steam.

They use this same method on the water, but on land, they can easily turn an area into a muddy morass in very short order.

This is what they left behind after only about 15 minutes drilling.


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The Rouen drakes are coming into their adult plumage.


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