Public Radio from UA Little Rock
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Wild Ideas: The Mallard Duck

More mallards winter in Arkansas than anywhere else in the world.

Waterfowl follow ancient, aerial highways from their breeding grounds to southern wintering areas. Arkansas is at the bottom of the funnel-shaped Mississippi Flyway and is home to ideal real estate for mallards and other ducks – sloughs, swamps, flooded fields and shallow rivers.

Mallards have a bottoms-up approach to feeding – tipping forward in the water to dabble along in search of seeds, insects and aquatic vegetation.

Duck hunters thrill at the sight of mallards with wings cupped, descending into their hunting holes. Drakes or males have a spectacular shiny green head, followed by a white necklace and finished off with curly tail feathers.

You can learn more about why hunters are busy practicing the quintessential quack of the female mallard at