[Two mallards are in water with lots of growth in it. They feed on aquatic vegetation.] [Explore Macaulaylibrary.org]

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Mallards—perhaps the most recognizable and widespread duck in the world—are part of the group known as dabbling ducks. These birds forage by tipping upside-down in the water to uproot and eat aquatic plants as well as insect larvae and freshwater shrimp. Spending large amounts of time with their heads underwater leaves them vulnerable to predators. One solution to this hazard is feeding in flocks, where there are multiple pairs of eyes looking for danger.

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This video accompanies Chapter 8, Avian Food and Foraging, Handbook of Bird Biology, 3rd Edition from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Wiley Publishing.

Recorded by Benjamin M Clock/Macaulay Library