Meet the Neighbors: Mallard
For the introduction to this series, see here.
When many people think of ducks, they think of this species. They are common and live everywhere in the US. Unlike many other duck species that nest and raise their ducklings in Canada, mallards nest all over the place. The ducklings hatch out wet and tired but within a short while after they have dried off and rested they are ready to follow their mother into the water. Only a day after hatching they can already swim and run quite fast! (Imagine if human babies were like that!) You will often see mallards standing on their heads in the water so that only their tails stick out. This is called dabbling. Mallards are dabbling ducks not diving ducks. All ducks are split into dabbling and diving ducks. As you can probably figure out, diving ducks dive completely underwater to look for food. Mallards live all over North America, Europe, Asia, parts of Africa, parts of South America, Australia, and New Zealand. Mallards are the ancestors of almost all domestic ducks. Go to a local pond and watch one of the commonest ducks in the world!