Do Mallards Nest In Trees? 

Mallards are one of the popular duck breeds, thanks to their unique color appearance.

These waterfowls are often seen in water bodies, such as rivers, lakes, and ponds.

But have you ever wondered where they usually put up their nests and lay eggs?

These ducks put up their nest in an area where they think will be safe from any dangerous predator.

After all, they also want to make sure their eggs and chicks will be protected in their own home.

Mallard ducks usually have their nest on ground – specifically on damp soil where open water is accessible, while also being covered by plants.

But there are instances where these ducks also put up their nest in trees and even shrubs.

What Are Mallard Ducks’ Nesting Habits?

Ducks have their own way of building and taking care of the nest.

They also have each of their styles on how they will protect their family’s shelter, especially the eggs.

Usually, the nests of mallard ducks are the responsibility of the female ones.

A nest of a mallard duck is often seen on the ground, near a body of water.

The mallard pair will look for the place together during their evening flights where they can put up their nest for their eggs.

Once they have found a perfect spot, the female mallard will start burrowing a shallow depression on the ground where she will lay her eggs and stay for quite some time.

The nest will be covered by many vegetation available in the area to make it hidden and safe.

The female duck will also pluck its own feathers, covering the entire nest.

How Long Will a Mallard Duck Leave Her Nest?

Of course, mallard ducks also have to leave their nest from time to time to eat.

Typically, the female mallard will not leave her nest even after she has laid eggs.

Once she is done laying, she will have to prepare for incubating them.

Female mallards will never leave her nest, except for the time period that she needs to eat.

She will only leave the nest temporarily for about an hour or two every morning and afternoon to secure food.

Incubating the eggs will take her around 25 to 29 days of staying and warming her clutch together.

How Often Do Mallard Ducks Lay Eggs?

Ducks are quite known to produce a lot of eggs per year, and this includes mallards.

Generally, these waterfowls begin laying eggs as early as 4 to 7 months old.

For Mallards, they only lay eggs seasonally, usually in spring.

One clutch usually has around 10 to 13 eggs laid with at least 1-2 days of interval per egg.

Female mallard ducks will also only start incubating her eggs once she has laid them all, which the incubation period takes around 25 to 29 days on average.

Do Mallards Return To The Same Nest?

Mallard ducks do return to their same nest every year to lay their eggs.

This means that they treat their nesting site as their own home or shelter to use for their chicks.

Remember that a mallard duck will only pick nesting sites where it is near water and has lots of vegetation in the area to cover it up, so it will be quite troublesome to always look and build for another one each year.

This is why it is extremely important not to mess with their nest.

If you have found a duck’s nest, do not move it in any way.

The female ducks may no longer recognize their nest if it is moved, causing the pair to find another spot where they can build another nest.

Wrapping Up

Mallard ducks are one of the common seen duck breeds we have.

These waterfowls typically love building their nest in areas where water is accessible, and at the same time, surrounded by plants to make the nest hidden and secured.

These ducks typically lay their eggs with 1-2 days interval and an incubation period spanning for around 25 to 29 days.

This also means that the female mallard will never leave her nest until all of her eggs hatched.

The only time she has to leave her nest for a while is when she needs to secure food and eat every morning and afternoon.


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