When do ducks moult?

by Russ on August 9, 2014

Female mallards are brown all year long for camouflage when sat on eggs.Visiting your local duck pond in late summer, you may have noticed there seems to be a lack of male mallards on the water.

Where have they all gone?

The truth is you are probably looking at them. Mallards and many other birds are currently going through their yearly moult

This is when they lose one set of feathers to be replaced with another fresh set.

During the moulting season, birds struggle to fly until their new feathers come through.

Male Mallards are normally quite showy, but in August they look just like the females so that they can camouflage during the moult. To hide themselves from predators, they take on a dull brown colour for perfect camouflage.

So although they may be looking sorry for themselves at the moment, they will soon have a brand new coat of feathers ready for the breeding season.

 

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