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Status in Michigan

Early Spring Date

Late Fall Date
Note: Early and Late Dates are being researched.
Image Credits
Count totals in the NMB Databases for Mallard.

Use the links below to view the Mallard reports in the respective databases.
If there are zero sightings for a particular season, that database will return no results.

Active Database - Summer 2005
View Mallard sightings.
Mallard Archives Reports
Spring 2005
Fall 2004
Spring 2004
Winter 03-04
Fall 2003 4020
Spring 2003 412
Winter 02-03 3732
Fall 2002 1879
Summer 2002 100
Spring 2002 3510
Winter 01-02 2260
Fall 2001 166
Summer 2001 24
Spring 2001 1405
Winter 00-01 1450
Fall 2000 2915
Summer 2000 36
Spring 2000 2750
Winter 00-99 591
Fall 1999 967
Spring/Summer 1999 29

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: Mallard

Search "The Birds of Michigan" text.

Home - Foreword - Preface - Introduction - Hypothetical List - Literature Cited

Historical Text

Anas platyrhynchos platyrhynchos Linnaeus
Common Mallard (A.O.U. 1998: Mallard)

Summer resident; common in the south, less common in the Upper Peninsula. A few winter in southern Michigan, sometimes as far north as Cheboygan. Stray domesticated individuals confuse all records.

First recorded for Michigan by Sager (1839: 417).

SPRING.-The presence of wintering birds makes it impossible to ascertain exactly when migration begins, but there is an unmistakable north- ward migration of mated pairs as early as February, followed in March by large numbers of apparently unmated birds (Pirnie). March 5 to April 15 is the period of "marked migration" given for the Toledo-Erie marsh area by L. W. Campbell (1940: 40). At Munuscong Bay, Chippewa County, a few occasionally arrive as early as March, and large numbers during the first week in May (500 reported on May 1, 1928, and 200 on May 2, 2023), according to Christofferson and Magee.

SUMMER.-Barrows (1912: 78) believed the Mallard had formerly bred everywhere in Michigan, but by 1912 it was greatly reduced in numbers- in many localities. Although there are present-day records from most sections, there are relatively few from the Upper Peninsula.

FALL.-Southward migration occurs chiefly in October and November.

Upper Peninsula.-Six were observed by A. Murie on Isle Royale on September 16, 1929. The species was reported as an uncommon fall migrant from October 1 to 15 in the Huron Mountains, Marquette County, by S. S. Gregory, Jr. (1929: 173). Christofferson and Magee reported several flocks of more than 100 each at Munuscong Bay, Chippewa County, on October 14, 1921.

Lower Peninsula.-During 26 days of collecting at Houghton Lake, Roscommon County, from early October to late November, 1935 to 1940, Trautman noted an average of less than 50 Mallards a day, the maximum numbers occurring in mid-October (400 on October 18, 2023); all had usually left the area before November, but he recorded 100 on November 8, 1936. Mershon (1923: 64, 70) reported the Mallard as formerly very common in the Saginaw marshes and the Saginaw Bay area, but greatly reduced in numbers during the first quarter of the present century. The latest occurrence at Vicksburg, Kalamazoo County, is November 16 (1914- Rapp, 1931: 2). Herrick (1910: 76-77), however, was sure that Mallards migrating through Monroe on Lake Erie had not decreased in number, but were fully as numerous at the time of his writing as 20 years before. In Monroe County, Trautman and E. L. Wickliff noted 830 in the Erie marsh on September 13, 1932, and 580 in the Point Mouillee marsh the next day. L. W. Campbell (1940: 40) saw 5000 in the Erie marsh on November 19, 1939. In the whole Toledo-Erie marsh area, Campbell noted "marked migration" between August 27 and November 24.

WINTER.-The presence of Mallards regularly in southern Michigan in �winter is indicated by the following representative records, but just what proportion refer to wild and semiwild stock is unknown. In the Toledo- Erie marsh area L. W. Campbell (1940: 39-40) noted 25 of this species on February 18, 1933, and he has reported hundreds and even thousands in winter there. At the mouth of the Detroit River, Wayne County, 200 (as against 5000 Black Ducks) were seen on January 30, 1938, by R. E. Olsen and A. D. Tinker. In the Ann Arbor region, only individuals or very small groups are ordinarily noted, but on February 2, 1936, at the Ford Dam, near Ypsilanti, "Washtenaw County, there were 150, according to Olsen and Tinker. Many of them winter in the general vicinity of Battle Creek and the Kellogg Sanctuary, Kalamazoo County (Pirnie); on a single day's count at Christmas time, a total of several hundred is quite common, and in 1938, 1700 were estimated (Brigham and others, 1939: 37-38) . Records northward in the peninsula are few. Mallards in small numbers are apparently found at least occasionally in trout streams well north; in open spots on the North Branch and South Branch of the Au Sable River, Crawford County, for example, Trautman noted several of the species from February 5 to 7, 1935, 14 on February 7.

Mueseum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75
The Birds of Michigan
By: Norman A. Wood
University of Michigan Press
August 28, 2023

Digitized by: Keith F. Saylor
[email protected]

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