The Day the Mallard Ducks Came to Our Birdfeeder….

Mallard Duck (Male)
Mallard Duck – Male
Mallard Ducks Eating Under our Birdfeeders
Mallard Ducks Eating Under our Birdfeeders

I went outside to birdwatch and take photographs with my new lens.  (These Duck photos were taken with the Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 AF APO DG OS HSM Telephoto Zoom Lens.)

I expected to see House Finches or American Goldfinches at our feeder, but not Mallard Ducks!   To my amazement, these ducks flew into our backyard to graze on bird seed!

We do live near water, and Mallard Ducks are one of the most common ducks to see here, but I didn’t know that they would eat bird seed!  We were feeding the birds a cheap mix of seeds that included corn,  red milo, white milo, safflower and sunflower seeds.  It’s anyone’s guess which seed or grain that the Mallards liked most, but I guess if you want ducks to come to your bird feeder, provide a mix!

Note that the Mallards didn’t actually land ON our bird feeder, which is good, because their feet are webbed and they must weigh A LOT compared to the little song birds (who knows if our feeder could even handle that!).   They just ate bird seed from under the feeder.  I often spill out the old seed onto the ground when I refill my platform feeder, and if I don’t do that, birds like the Red-Winged Blackbirds will help the ground birds by tossing out a lot of seed too.

Female Mallard Eating Under Bird Feeder
Female Mallard Eating Under Bird Feeder (Female red wing blackbirds in background)

The female was hungrier than the male… The male stood around on lookout much of the time!

Mallard Duck (Male)
Mallard Duck – Male

Have you ever had ducks or other waterfowl visit your bird feeders?    I’d love to hear about it!


  1. Hi. We live in a large town in Iowa. We don’t have a pond or stream near our home but the Cedar river is a few miles away. We have a mallard couple who visit our bird feeder 2 to 3 times a day. The drake first came this winter and apparently the food was satisfactory because this spring he started bringing his mate.

  2. Almost the exact same thing happened in my backyard yesterday. A male and a female mallard duck sat under our tube feeder and just like you said, mainly the female ate (she’s probably getting ready to lay some eggs). They are back today. I think they are scoping out a nesting site. We have a pond nearby and last year a mama duck made a nest in our front flower bed. Sadly an animal got to the eggs. These ducks went straight for the front flower bed. Could this be the same pair or at least the same female?

    Only the birds that are able to land on the feeder have been able to eat. The blue jays, normally aggressive, have been hesitant to land on the ground to eat because the ducks shoo them away!

  3. We had some fun, festive critters pop by our feeder the other day as well. A nice, respectable mallard couple swing by every night at 7 to enjoy some fine dining. Dave sure loves treating his gal. Our waterfowl friends really get into that song bird mix me and the old lady toss out after we cook a nice meal for ourselves. Betty sure loves our pond dwelling companions.


  4. I live in troy, ohio and we have them come up to our bird feeders every evening around 7 pm. We enjoy watching them. We actually have 2 pair. They have babies in the creek that runs along side our house. The males usually watch out while the females eat…so cute!

  5. We have three this morning at bird feeder but I don’t know what kind of ducks they are. They are brown with white along the wing area and have black bottoms. The feeder has mostly sunflower seeds and We have corn hanging on tree.

  6. I have a pair that visit my yard daily in central Ohio. I’m in a suburb with a creek nearby. The female eats while the male watches from a neighbor’s roof. They don’t seem to mind me working in the yard. Sometimes they rest in the shade under my trampoline. My son and I refer to them as Burt and Barbara.

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