Yes, you read the headline correctly! TWL Hiking Club Tuesdays are back! I have taken a break as the snow has taken over our lives in Minnesota. There are many people who embrace the snow here, but honestly, as of right now at least, neither Devon nor I are one of these people. As Spring is about a month away from beginning, we are excited to get back out on the trails and really appreciate what nature has to offer. This brings me to what our next several Tuesdays will be focused around: appreciating the nature. Of course I mean we can love and appreciate the raptors who swoop, the predators who stalk, and the more rare moose sighting. But! That is not what these will be about. So often, we ignore the more common wildlife sightings even though they are some of the coolest animals. I will be focusing on them and bringing the more urban of wildlife into focus.
Today, we focus on the oh so common mallard. This is the duck that you and I know so well. The females are brown with the little streak of color, and the males have the iridescent green and deep navy blue. You know what I am talking about. They frequent local and distant ponds, lakes, and rivers. They are beautiful. If you live in America, I can guarantee you have seen a mallard. Many of us see them all the time and do not take the time to truly notice just how awesome they truly are.
What is cool is that almost all domestic ducks come from this species. If you eat duck, you can most likely thank the mallard. I know… I know… who could eat a cute creature like a mallard? Many people do, and it really is an animals whose species can take it. Additionally, they are a lot like humans in that they tend to be monogamous, but that isn’t always the case! Speaking of breeding, the males have an intense reproductive system that essentially works like a corkscrew. Talk about survival of the fittest!
When we think about animals, we often consider them with short life spans. Well, some mallards have been documented to live to their early twenties! They could live long enough to get college degrees, people! Tell me that isn’t awesome! How can one simply walk past a group of mallards without admiring them knowing this fact! I know I can’t!
PS–there bills look like tiny yellow dog masks.