Is this little guy a mallard?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by sevenbabychicks, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. sevenbabychicks

    sevenbabychicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A couple evenings ago, as I was about to go to a friend's house for dinner, I heard the unmistakeable cheeping of a distressed baby bird. I looked around and found the tiniest little duckling struggling through the grass in my yard. I live by an extremely fast-moving creek in a coniferous forest. There isn't much ground cover to nest in, and so I assumed that the little guy must be a wood duck. Also it's just so small! But its eye stripe seems more mallardy. Its egg tooth fell off later that night, so I'm guessing it was less than two days old. I searched around for about an hour to try to find its mother or siblings, but couldn't.

    I haven't raised a mallard since I was a kid. Are they really this small? What else could it be? At about 4 days old, it's the length of my thumb (and I'm a small woman). It's a lot tinier than the ducklings at my local feed store. Also, is it okay by itself? I have chickens that I'm planning on putting it out with once it gets off the heat lamp.

    Below is a pic I took yesterday. It's much smaller than it looks in the photo. If you need them I can get better shots when I get home. Thanks!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. aineheartsyou

    aineheartsyou Chillin' With My Peeps

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    one eye stripe, so mallard

    ETA i got it backwards at first
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2011
  3. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Baby wood ducks also have a single eye stripe. I can't remember how little my Mallard was when she hatched. Small, but not super tiny.
     
  4. sevenbabychicks

    sevenbabychicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've been looking at pics of various species, and their ducklings all look the same! To me, gadwall and teal duclings are indistinguishable from mallards. However, the eye stripe of a wood duck baby looks like it doesn't extend past the front corner of the eye.

    It'll be interesting to see what it grows into! I'll post pics along the way [​IMG]

    Should I be searching around for another duckling of the same age so that my little guy has a friend? I feel bad for him all alone. But then what about the possibility of disease?
     
  5. animalpro24

    animalpro24 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:It would probably be good to get him a friend. I wouldn't worry about disease.
     
  6. StevenW.

    StevenW. Lovin' My Quackers!

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    If you found one there has to be more somewhere! I would go back and look to see if you can find the mom and her nest.
    Wild ducks usually nest where it's moist but not wet. If it's a wood duckling then I would be looking for hollow logs or hollow trees.
     
  7. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can't tell at that angle for sure and I'm not an expert, but I don't think it's a mallard. It could be a wood duckling or a gadwall duckling. Cute, though!

    And, wild ducklings are very tiny when they hatch, about the size of an average man's thumb. They double in size about every three days until they're two to three weeks old.
     
  8. sevenbabychicks

    sevenbabychicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:No dice.

    We've been having flooding issues here, and the creek which usually is pretty quick-moving is like a mini whitewater rapids this week! A duckling (or full grown duck, for that matter) wouldn't be any match for it. Perhaps it got washed away from its family?
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2011
  9. sevenbabychicks

    sevenbabychicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Yeah, I just noticed that it's way bigger than my thumb now! It'll be fun watching what it feathers into [​IMG]

    Now to find it an adopted sister...
     
  10. sevenbabychicks

    sevenbabychicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here's an updated, better pic...

    [​IMG]
     

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