Mallards: How to Distinguish Drakes from Hens in the Early Season

This week’s duckology reveals tips for how to most reliably distinguish male mallards from females during the early season.

Up on the breeding grounds — and especially in Canada — seasons start early. During all of September and into October, male mallards are still sporting a lot of eclipse (a.k.a., basic drab) plumage, so they look a lot like hens. It can be real hard to pick out the drakes.

The video features tips from Dr. Joe Carlson of Bismarck, North Dakota. Joe is a former Delta Board member and a serious mallard hunter when his medical job allows.