Mallard Hens At Lunch
Photograph - Photography
"Mallard Hens at Lunch" by Catherine Sherman
A group of female mallard ducks feed in the grass near a road circling Lake Willoughby in Westmore, Vermont. These hens were so intent on their ladies' luncheon that they came within inches of my feet without giving me a glance.
A familiar sight around many bodies of water, the mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) is thought to be the most abundant and wide-ranging duck on Earth.
The mallard is a dabbling duck that breeds throughout the temperate and subtropical Americas, Eurasia, and North Africa and has been introduced to New Zealand, Australia, Peru, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, the Falkland Islands, and South Africa.
Male Mallards have a dark, iridescent-green head and bright yellow bill. The gray body is sandwiched between a brown breast and black rear. Females and juveniles are mottled brown with orange-and-brown bills. Both sexes have a white-bordered, blue “speculum” patch in the wing.
Mallards are “dabbling ducks”—they feed in the water by tipping forward and grazing on underwater plants. They almost never dive. They can be very tame ducks especially in city ponds, and often group together with other Mallards and other species of dabbling ducks.
November 12th, 2019
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