Mallard ducks


Reading — Intermediate Level
Share this exercise

Read the text and answer the questions

You'll find mallard ducks near ponds, marshes, streams, and lakes, where they feed on plants, invertebrates, fish, and insects. Mallards are dabbling, or surface-feeding ducks because they eat by tipping underwater for food—head down, feet and tail in the air—rather than diving. Mallards also forage and graze for food on land. The male mallard duck, called a drake, sports a glossy green head, a white ring around its neck and a rich, chestnut-brown breast. The mottled brown female mallard looks downright dull next to the male's showy feathers.

Mallards fly in groups called flocks. Like most migratory birds, mallards fly in the famous V formation. During winter migration, mallards fly south in search of warm weather, often resting at the same spots year after year. Migrating mallards can travel great distances, relying on rivers, coasts, and valleys to find their way.

A female mallard lays up to a dozen eggs in nests on the ground near water, often in a small depression or tree hole. She lines the nest with warm down plucked from her undercoat. Soon after birth, baby ducks, called ducklings, open their eyes. A little more than a day after hatching, ducklings can run, swim, and forage for food on their own. They stay in the nest for less than a month. A group of ducklings is called a brood. Outside the nest, the brood sticks close by the mother for safety, often following behind her in a neat, single-file line.
  1. What do mallard ducks usually eat?

  2. How do mallard ducks eat?

  3. Why do mallard ducks fly south during winter?

  4. Which guide the mallard ducks in their travel?

  5. When do the baby mallard ducks probably become independent?

  6. How do the breed feel safe?


Practice your writing skills by discussing the questions below

  1. Where do mallard ducks usually stay? Why?

  2. What kind /s of ducks are popular in your country?

  3. Do you like ducks? Why? Why not?


    Need help?

    Ask a question or reserve a class with Jennifer



    From English
    No translation