T T HE HE E E THOGRAM THOGRAM M M ALLORY ALLORY H H UDSON UDSON M M ONDAY ONDAY L L AB AB 11:00 L 11:00 L ECTURE ECTURE P P ARTNERS ARTNERS : L : L AUREN AUREN H H ILL ILL , H , H EATHER EATHER P P RUITT RUITT On my honor, I have neither given nor received On my honor, I have neither given nor received unauthorized help on this lab. unauthorized help on this lab.
I. I. Introduction Introduction The Mallard or Anas platyrhynchos is a member of the family Anatidae and subfamily Anatinae and is found throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Mallards are considered dabbling ducks or surface-feeding ducks and are prevalent in North America (Sibley 190). During the winter, Mallards usually stay in the lower half of the Mississippi Valley and commonly migrate in early spring from the southern regions to cooler northern regions. Mallards usually go no farther than Alaska during their migration north (Kortright 152). When nesting, Mallards generally choose places that are dry but close to a body of water. Mallards have sometimes even been known to nest in open prairies far away from any water (Kortright 153). Both males and females of the species are beautiful birds, though the males are often considered more attractive. Male Mallards are not hard to distinguish from other birds because of their characteristic green head. Both have ornate feathers, but the males are more colorful than the predominantly brown females. Mallards have smooth, rounded heads with a medium-sized, slightly curved bill (Freethy 76). The feet of Mallards have four toes, three large toes and one small toe on the back of the foot. The three larger toes are both longer and larger widthwise. Each toe has a small, pointed claw at the end. The three large toes are connected by a thin piece of scaly skin to help the ducks swim (Freethy 77). Mallards are vegetarians for the most part, feeding on grasses, pondweeds, acorns and many other forms of plant life. Mallards also feed on insects, small mollusks, and rotting fish in some instances (Kortright 154). Mallards like acorns and some eat them to the point that “… occasionally a bird takes so many that it is unable to fly” (McAtee 720). Mallards are also known to eat large quantities of mosquitoes and are important in controlling mosquito populations across the country (Kortright 156). Mallards are both beautiful and beneficial to humans in multiple ways.
II. II. This experiment involved observing Mallards and recording their behaviors. Materials used in this experiment were a pair of binoculars, a clipboard and paper, pencils, and a laptop computer equipped with Microsoft Excel. The ducks were observed at Prestwood Lake in Hartsville, SC and at Cleveland Park in Spartanburg, SC. Weather during the observation period was generally warm and sunny. There was a slight overcast some days, but never rain. All
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