Bird Sightings : Hebrides : Mallard
Adult female Mallard left, juvenile right
(Stock Duck, Stockie, Stocker, Wild Duck)
Gaelic: Tunnag-fhiadhaich, Lach
Photograph © Ela Springwater
Isle of Great Bernera - Outer Hebrides (Western Isles)
25th June, 2007
"These Mallards were on the loch near the Bernera shop, it has been a pleasure to be able to see them on a regular basis and watch the ducklings grow - there were at least two families this year. In winter we had about six Goldeneye, lots of Tufted Ducks and a Whooper Swan on the same loch, (it made getting the shopping a lot more interesting!) sadly the Whooper Swan's mate was found dead on the shore at Kirkibost..."
Our Mallard photographs
- Mallard (Stock Duck, Stockie, Stocker, Wild Duck)
- Anas platyrhynchos
- Gaelic: Tunnag-fhiadhaich, Lach
- UK: Introduced/Resident Breeder, Winter Visitor
- UK: Breeding 50,400-127,100 pairs. Wintering 371,000 individuals RSPB
- WI: Fairly common resident breeder (100-999 breeding pairs), and winter visitor (occurs in small numbers)
- Breeding: Usually nest on river bank (not always near water) 1 brood 11-14 eggs laid. Mallards pair until eggs laid then male leaves. Mallard ducklings can swim and feed themselves (insects) as soon as they hatch. Female stays & protects them. Europe, N America, Asia, New Zealand, Australia (much domesticated)
- Winters: Strongly migratory in northernmost parts - winters farther south of the breeding range. Mallards seen in winter in the UK may be resident breeders or migrants - many birds that breed in Iceland & N Europe winter here. Very gregarious out of breeding season & often forms large flocks (called sords)
- Habitat: Wet places including urban area: Wetlands, parks, small ponds, rivers, lakes
- Diet: Omnivorous, opportunist. Feeds mostly by dabbling in shallow water for plant material & insects. Also grazing. Seeds, berries, plants, acorns, insects, shellfish, frogs
- Large, heavy-looking duck. Long body. Long, broad bill. Adult breeding male dark green head. Black rear-end. Yellow black-tipped bill. Breast mainly purple-brown. Body grey . Non-breeding male drab, & like female, ID it by yellow bill & reddish breast. Female mainly brown. Orange bill. Both sexes have purple (white-edged) wing patch (speculum).
- Listen to a Mallard (RSPB site)
- Typical lifespan 3yrs. Max recorded lifespan 23yrs 2mths
- Similar birds: Gadwall (Rare), Pintail, Teal (fairly rare) Green-winged Teal (rare)
Mallard records in the Western Isles
Fairly common resident breeder (100-999 breeding pairs), and winter visitor (occurs in small numbers).
Source: Outer Hebrides Bird Report (2001)
On the chart below the darker the shade of blue the more Mallard the bird is during a month or the more likely you are to see it.
(Source: Outer Hebrides Birds Checklist)
Male or female ducks and their collective nouns
The Mallard is very gregarious out of the breeding season and often forms large flocks, called sords.
Some people use the word duck only for an adult female and drake for an adult male whilst others say hen and drake.
|Waterfowl collective nouns (From WIKI):
|waterfowl (on water)
||A bunch of waterfowl
|waterfowl (less than 30)
||A paddling of ducks
|ducks, idle in water
||A raft of ducks
||A dopping of ducks
|ducks, on ground
||A badelynge of ducks
||A flight, plump, or team of ducks
||A brace, bunch, flock, skein, sord, string, brace, flush
Other local bird photographs
Sources of information for the bird sightings section