Mallards - Western Isles Birds - Birdlife and Bird Sightings in the Hebrides
Mallard Hebridean Birds
Western Isles Birds - Mallards - Hebridean Birds - Western Isles Birds.

The Mallards - large heavy looking ducks.Seen throughout The Western isles as indeed they are in Scotland and the UK. Lovely looking birds.

The male is unmistakable with its bottle green head, yellow bill, white collar and magenta breast.

The female is an inconspicuous brown - except for her yellowish bill and orange legs, she is almost all brown
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Mallard - Western Isles
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Bird Overview - Mallard
Family
Swans, ducks & Geese
Latin name
Anas platyrhynchos

 Population
Common


Similar Species
Gadwell, Shoveller,Teals, Pintails
Description
A large heavy looking duck. The male is unmistakable with its bottle green head, yellow bill, white collar and magenta breast. The female is an inconspicuous brown - except for her yellowish bill and orange legs, she is almost all brown, The young birds actually look pretty much like females.

Mallards in the UK may be resident breeders or migrants - many of the birds that breed in Iceland and northern Europe spend the winter here..

In July and August the eclipse plumage males resemble females but appear darker and more uniform. The bills remain yellow.

Size
58cm They weigh about 900 g - 1500g
Habitat
Any freshwater
Food
Seeds, acorns and berries, plants, insects and shellfish, aquatic plants
Voice
These birds make distinctive sounds - the female mallard gives a familiar 'quack' - the male a weak nasal note.
Breeding
These ducks - the mallards usually nest on the ground - occasionally they nest well away from the water - high in a tree perhaps. They nest between March and July - 8-12 eggs which are bluish green. Although pairs form in the late Autumn the males take no part in the incubation of the eggs or indeed of the rearing of the young mallards.

The ducklings are active and capable of swimming from hatching the ducklings are escorted to water quite speedily after hatching.


Misc. Info
Out of the water these birds walk easily, their bodies parallel with the ground. Both sexes show the orange legs. Mallards - the males in the breeding season - gangs of male mallards will pursue and harass the female until she gives in through exhaustion and mates with them - occasionally she dies fighting them off (really quite macabre)

Mallards - Western Isles
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