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Photographer's Note

A male mallard and its reflection, Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, IL

The mallard is considered to be the most abundant duck in the world. They are the ancestor of the common white domestic duck and they frequently interbreed with the domestic species producing a variety of patterns and colors. On top of that, they also hybridize with wild species.

Mallard courtship starts in the fall, and by midwinter pairs have formed. Mated pairs migrate northward together, heading for the female's place of origin. The male stays with the female until incubation is well underway, then leaves to join a flock of other males to begin the annual molt.

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Additional Photos by Ken Ilio (flip89) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 537 W: 173 N: 576] (3418)
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