Mallard Time

Mallards are a pretty dabbling duck, especially when nice lighting brightens up the males’ iridescent green heads and both the male/female’s white-bordered, blue speculum wing patch.  They are an abundant, year-round resident in the Chesapeake Bay region.

Here are a few of my favorite images of our local Mallards since the first of the year.

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“Mallards On Ice”
(41 total here!)


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” Ice Steppin’ “


Male Mallard coming in for a landing


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Male Mallard


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“Cruise at Sunset”


I wish I were more in focus on the male in this next photo of a Mallard Hybrid with a female Mallard.  The male hybrid is a Mallard/Northern Pintail mix.

It looks quite different seeing a blue bill on a Mallard instead of bright yellow bill, doesn’t it?!!


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Male Mallard/Northern Pintail Hybrid with a female Mallard


Here is a male Northern Pintail for comparison.

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Male Northern Pintail (blue bill)


Finally, another flight series of a male Mallard coming in for a landing.

“Look out!”


Thankfully, there were no casualties when he landed!  🙂



38 thoughts on “Mallard Time

    • Thank you, Reed! I didn’t ‘see’ the hybrid until after downloading my images. Argh…I would have spent more time on him to get better shots. He does look quite unusual with that blue bill!

    • Thank you, Belinda! Had I known the hybrid was in the mix, I’d have spent more time photographing him to get clearer shots. He is interesting! I didn’t ‘spot’ him until after download. 😦

    • Thank you, Tom! They are elusive here too unless they are aware of a feeder machine near by, they’ll hang there all day waiting for someone to buy them some feed. I know of one which is a perfect place for me to take my grandsons to see the ducks. 🙂

  1. Great shots Donna, the iridescent green head and speculum are beautiful in the sunshine. Similar to our male Chestnut Teal which also has a green iridescent head and is one of our most common fresh water duck. We are starting to see more introduced Mallard in our parks and reserves due to people dumping them, also other domestic geese and ducks which is quite a concern to our native birds as some these are large and aggressive. National Parks are keeping watch to see how it goes.

    • Thank you, Ashley! I just looked at the Chestnut Teal in a quick search, neat, heads are very similar! We have three “Teals” but not the “Chestnut”. Not so sure about the Mallard introduction, people love feeding them, but they’ll become aggressive in parks, and, of course, with other ducks for mating. It’s a shame people get them and then dump them. I’m sure your NP staff will be keeping an eye on the Mallards!

  2. Love those green heads! Interesting about the hybrid. We get a couple mallards and American mergansers at our small river every spring. One year there was a male mallard attending a female merganser. I don’t recall if there were ever ducklings, but I remember I was surprised to see the pairing and read that ducks often cross when mates can’t be found.

    • Thank you, Eliza! Oh wow, can you imagine what a male Mallard/Merganser hybrid could look like?! I was reading up more on hybrids recently myself since my sighting. It said some crossings may not work, the eggs won’t fertilize correctly to grow. I was wondering, though, if it was partly due also to region location and weather.

  3. Mallards are so often shrugged off as common, but I think they are uncommonly beautiful and photogenic, and always make me smile. Thank your for reminding us of their beauty with your beautiful images, Donna.

  4. Spectacular images, Donna. The flight shots are perfection. That Mallard/Northern Pintail hybrid was an interesting catch. I doubt that I would have spotted it.

    • Thank you, Gunta! I love the challenge of capturing flight, I think I scored on these! 🙂 But it sure takes a lot of shots to get the good ones, lol. I wish I had noticed the hybrid and spent more time on shooting him more clearly. I’ve been wanting to go back to that location and see if he’s still here. I wonder, does he migrate as a NPintail, or is he a year-round local? Which instinct kicks in? This curious mind would like to know! 🙂

  5. Great pictures here from the marvelous sunset cruise to the ice walk! I started freezing looking at them walking on ice…without shoes 🙂

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