Welcome to week 14 of our one year pond study. For the rest of the posts in this series please see here.
This week the children did a study on the Mallard duck. They read through all our past nature study posts. I asked them to tell me all they had learnt about the Mallard duck simply through observation. This was their answer, with a selection of pictures from the posts.
The Mallard duck lives anywhere there is water such as village ponds:
The male mallard looks very different from the female, with a green head, white collar and yellow beak:
Whereas the female is pretty much brown all over:
They are sociable and live in large groups:
They fight for their females:
It is during these fights that the male mallards can get hurt:
If hurt they will tend to their own wounds and are so hardy they heal readily:
Eventually they all pair off:
Make their nests:
And lay eggs to hatch baby ducks:
They scavenge on land for food, feeding on grains and plants:
And dabble for invertebrates, fish, amphibians, and a variety of plants in the water. Sometimes fully emersing their heads to pull at the plants:
They sleep with their head in their feathers:
They are very vocal birds:
and they groom themselves with their beak….
With their legs….
With the surrounding water…
Before flapping their wings to remove the excess water and realign their feathers:
They are also one of the only ducks which are able to take to flight without any running on the water or on the ground. They literally just take off:
I was genuinely surprised by how much they had taken in without ever reading a book about the Mallard duck. For me this is homeschooling at it’s very best. The children simply observed the nature whilst amongst it. Nature told its own story far more successfully than any book could.