Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Splandry, Feb 8, 2016.

  1. Splandry

    Splandry Chirping

    Jul 25, 2014
    Youngsville Louisiana
    Can any one tell me how long it takes before the male starts to get his colors. I have three mallards not sure the age but still pretty young. I would guess between 2 and 3 months old. One of them seems darker and the head seems to be getting green. Do the male start off looking like the females then start to turn to the male colors. I have been looking for a male in my area with no luck so for but the more I look at mine the more it seems to be changing. I always looked a little different and I was hoping I had 2 females and one male. Any body use to seeing mallards grow?

    Thanks for any help Steve
  2. PotatoWaffles

    PotatoWaffles Songster

    Oct 10, 2014
    Northwest Ohio
    Yes, young males start off looking like females. I don't know if this will be of much help, but my half mallard boys got their breeding plumage at about three months. But you should be able to tell the boys apart by their raspy voices by now. My females mallards are mostly silent except when they greet me, it's a loud series of QUEECK-QUEECK-QUEECK-queeck-queeck-queeck! The boys will constantly softly rasp the whole time I am out there moving around. The males will eventually lose their breeding plumage and grow their eclipse plumage (mine does this around September), and they will look a lot like females except for their orange feet and yellow bill. Then they will go back into their breeding plumage in the winter.
  3. cymbaline

    cymbaline Songster

    Jan 31, 2012
    central WV
    PotatoWaffles nailed it, lol - great info.

    If you want to listen to some quacks to compare to yours, here's a link:

    Also, in my experience, the male's bill will start to turn yellow before their breeding plumage comes in, but really, if someone isn't quacking loudly at least every now and then by 8 weeks, I'd be almost certain it's a male.

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