On Easter afternoon, I was paid an impromptu visit from a pair of mallard ducks. They waddled up from a water-filled ditch that runs along the side of our yard, stopped for a snack under the bird feeders, and then took a swim in our pond.
It’s not unusual for us to see a pair of ducks pacing in and near the ditch in early spring, but I had never had the pleasure of seeing them take a dip in our pond – what a delightful surprise!
Mallards preferred habitats include ponds, marshes and ditches. They are attracted to areas where they are camouflaged and protected by long grasses. A brush pile provides shelter and an option for nesting.
Mallards have a varied diet. Their fare includes insects and aquatic plants. They feast on vegetable scraps from the kitchen and spilled birdseed under bird feeders.
Loss of habitat is the greatest threat to mallards but they are able to adapt to disruptions in their environments.
Mallards are one of only a few duck species that feel comfortable enough to live near people. If you meet their basic needs of food, water, shelter and a place for nesting, they may just pay you a visit too.
We garden for hummingbirds, butterflies and bees. Why not garden for ducks? Garden with me!