Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Mallard Behavior
Name: Carol
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A

We had a female duck nesting in our bush, and she finally had her babies. She took them all down to our lake in our yard. 3 Male ducks have been bothering her and chasing her and mounting her. She gets upset and can not be with her babies, they all hide and when they come out, they all are getting chased back into the weeds. I am so sad and wonder if they will ever be able to come out and learn how to fend for themselves or if they will be hurt or killed by these mean male ducks. Does this all seem normal or common to you?

Sorry, yes, it sounds pretty normal. Male mallards are not very nice, by our standards. Pretty much all they are interested in is impregnating female ducks (mallards or not), and they certainly aren't interested in protecting young that aren't theirs.

Richard Barrans
Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Wyoming

Click here to return to the Zoology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory