Mallard Drake / Brood Parasitism

Mallard Drake - Brood Parasitism

Most species of duck are sexually dimorphic with males having a more vivid appearance for most breeds. Mallards are widely distributed in the Northern hemisphere. Introduced in the late 19th Century, they have also become widespread in parts of Australia and New Zealand. The mallard is considered and invasive species in New Zealand.

Mallards are often targets of brood parasitism by other ducks such as the Northern Shoveler and the Ruddy Duck; These species occasionally lay their eggs in mallard nests and relieve themselves from the investment of rearing their young or building their own nests. Although parasite eggs are often ejected, or nests abandoned, why do some hosts continue to care for the offspring of their parasites? Scientists are working on explanations.

Mallards are a popular game bird because they taste good. It sucks to taste good or be mistaken for something that tastes good.
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