You’ll spot our beautiful feathered friends all around the UK during the summer and winter, and most recently you’ll spot them of Sophie’s latest collection which features elegant Mallard Ducks flying in formation on a range of homewares and accessories. To celebrate the launch of this country collection, we’re taking a look at our quacking top seven Mallard Duck facts.
- Mallard ducks have highly waterproof feathers - have you ever wondered why ducks never appear wet, although they are always in a pond, river or lake? Well, that’s because their outer feathers are waterproof. They have a special gland, which is located near their tail that produces oil, they use their beaks to rub the oil all over their duck feathers to keep them waterproof.
- Mallards are dabbling ducks - a dabbling duck will tip underwater to forage for food, with its head down and feet and tail in the air. Their diets mainly consist of insects, worms, grain, and underwater plants. You might remember feeding ducks bread at your local park as a child, bread offers many calories and will keep them full but lacks the right nutrients, opt for grapes (cut in half), oats, barley, lettuce or sweetcorn instead.
- The male and females look completely different - the male Mallard is what you’ll spot on Sophie’s new collection and is distinctively coloured. They have an iconic green head, a white neckband, a chestnut-coloured chest with a grey body and a striking blue speculum patch on their feathered wings. Meanwhile, the females are mainly brown all over with the same blue speculum patch on their wings.
- Male Mallards don’t quack - the stereotypical quacking noise you hear from ducks will come from the female only. The male duck doesn’t quack, instead, they make a quieter, deeper, rasping noise, which is a one or two noted call. So when you’re next at the park or spot a group of ducks, see if you can spot the noisy females.
- Mallards can fly at speeds between 40 to 60 mph - they may waddle slow, but migrating Mallards can fly at speeds between 40 and 60 mph and are capable of flying 800 miles over an eight-hour flight, however, studies have shown that they would have to then feed and rest for three to seven days to re-energise from the eight-hour journey. Interestingly, both the male and female Mallard Duck will become flightless during their summer moult.
- The male Mallard is called a drake - a male is called a drake while the females are known as a duck or a hen. Baby Mallards are called ducklings and interestingly can feed themselves, swim and waddle just a few hours after hatching, however, they still need their mother, but it takes between 50 to 60 days before they fly and find their independence.
- Sophie’s Ducks collection is quacktastic - this collection celebrates these beautiful feathered animals and is sure to add a touch of the country into any home. The charming design features on a range of kitchen linens, fine bone china, homewares, accessories and pet accessories. A wonderful design which has a cosy autumnal feel.
We'd love to hear your thoughts on the latest collection? Will you be treating your home to some stylish new bits or perhaps you love ducks and even have domestic ducks of your own? Let us know in the comments below.