Do mallard ducks mate for life?
The answer to this question is both YES and NO. It all depends on the drake's agenda. During the mating seasons, the hen can be very picky on choosing a partner and often many prefer a drake that will protect them for as long as possible. For the "NO" reason: Most mallard ducks (about 90% of them) do NOT mate for life because the hen tends to turn her attentions away from the drake after she's laid her eggs in which the drake will feel left out and most likely leave her for another hen. Thus, the drake and hen only temporary bond until the hen's eggs are close to hatching in which the drake will move on and find another mate. The hen however is capable of looking after the ducklings without the drake, of whom she no longer cares for at this point. Although this gives the family a greater disadvantage for survival because some unrelated drakes may attack her ducklings in order to make her fertile whereareas in families contaning both parents, the father can step in fight off the attacking drake (or die trying). For the "YES" reason: However, there are some drakes that do stay to help protect the family and attack predators that may threaten the family until the ducklings are fully mature. These drakes stay because they feel that leaving the hen would only make them feel twice the loniless than the loniness they are already suffering. Though they assist the hen in watching the ducklings, they would do so from a distant because most mallard hens tend to be very aggressive and would not permit anyone, not even the drake, to go near the ducklings (the despite the fact that the father has no intention in attacking them). Though the female mallards may allow the drakes to watch them closely while she's off to fish herself some meal. Simutaneously, the drakes that stay with the family also prefer to maintain some personal spaces because he does not like being crowded by the noise of the ducklings under circumstances. Once the ducklings are mature and leave, the hen and drake may mate a second time to produce another family, thus continuing another mallard family cycle.