The Paddy O' Mallard Story

Illustrated by Kent Olson, USFWS
Publication # 833-317, Government Printing Office
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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All About Ducks with Paddy O'Mallard

In late spring, mallards begin courting behavior

They chose their mates and fly to the Prairie Pothole Region

Definition of Prairie Pothole Region is poorly drained, frequently flooded depressions

Mated pairs resist crowding. They find their own watery pothole

The drake defends the pair's territory.

Each pothole provides room for only several mallard pairs.

Additional shallow potholes hold more mallard pairs.

The mallard pair locates an isolated pothole in which to mate.

The nest is located in a cultivated field fence row. The nest is located in a fence row.

The mallards feed in deep potholes. They also rest and preen in the deeper potholes.

Each day the hen lays an egg.

Now Paddy departs for the deeper pothole to feed, rest and molt.

Ma mallard incubates the eggs and rears the young. After 26 days, the chicks hatch.

She leads her brood to the safety of the deep pothole.

Here the ducklings find food, water and cover.  Within 10 weeks they will be airborn.

THE END . . .

Ducks flying south.

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