Randall Museum’s duck
looks very similar to a
mallard duck. These
are dabbling ducks that
inhabit lakes and ponds
throughout the U.S.
and around the world. So,
why do we have a wild duck
in our domestic pen?
Because he is a Manky
Mallard ducks are not choosy when finding a mate. They breed with
other Mallards, but also with other wild ducks. Mallard hybridization
with wild ducks, such as the American black duck, Northern Pintails,
and Teals are threatening the gene pools of these birds.
The term “Manky Mallard” comes from the unending numbers of
crosses between mallards and domestic ducks. Some examples of
domestic breeds are Indian Runner ducks, Pekin ducks, and
Muscovy ducks. While the mallard duck is the ancestor to many
breeds of domestic ducks, this back crossing over and over has led to
a confusing number of part mallard, part domestic mixes. While
some of the crosses can be quite lovely, others can have a rather
motley look about them.
Our duck was probably hand raised by someone and then released
back to the wild. He was out on a lake in the East Bay but would
follow people everywhere, and the rangers thought he might get
hurt. In our pen he is usually found close to the hens, with whom he
has developed loving attachments.
If you’ve visited our duck, you know the photo is completely in
character, as he has much to say and isn’t shy about saying it!