Ducks (Anatidae) are smaller waterfowl with a shorter neck. The mallard or wild duck (Anas platyrhynchos) is 51 to 62 cm long with a wingspan of 81 to 98 cm. An adult duck weighs between 700 and 1,500 grams. On average, a mallard can become fifteen years old.

eenden2Mallards are generally not resident birds. Males (drakes)have migrated in May-June to their moulting areas, the females and juveniles in July-August. Indigenous breeding birds roam near. In October-December large numbers of ducks from Scandinavia and Northwest Russia fly over here.
 
The far back situated legs should push the center of gravity across the leg at each step. This explains the waddling gait.

Ducks molt their stroke and tail feathers simultaneously. They therefore cannot fly for about 1 month. The moult takes place immediately after the breeding season. They can then so easily be caught with nets.


In most species, the males have a colorful breeding plumage, the females in contrast wear camouflage.
At the tail of the duck is an oil gland. The duck uses its beak to smooth his feathers and lubricate with grease. Through the fat layer, the feathers remain dry. Between the down feathers, air is maintained to increase buoyancy.
The duck also appears sometimes under water to look for food. During this dabbling only his abdomen is up and yet to see.


Only females can croak. Drakes are whistling or making some soft noises.
The mating season is in the fall and in the spring breeding season.
If a pair is formed, they mate to the water every day. Without water, there is no copulation.
The female builds a nest, a hole on the bank in tall grass, in a willow or a cavity. The eight to twelve light green egg are hatched out in 28 days.

Wild ducks eat mostly grass in the winter months. In the spring meat, including snails, young frogs, toads and fish and aquatic insects. In summer and autumn they go on a vegetarian diet of grains and seeds of grasses, aquatic plants.
Ducklings eat all sorts of small animals, such as mosquitoes, larvae, worms and water snails. Unlike some feeding ducks in the park suggests, wild ducks, search for food especially at night.

They leave in the evening the water and fly for their meal to the farmland. On land they feed mainly at night (night trek) and early morning (morning trek). Food flights take place over distances of tens of kilometers and more. After foraging, they return and go to sleep. In the afternoon, they take a long bath and spend time polishing, cleaning en smearing feathers.

Catching ducks (alive)


Cabin hunt: 15 to 20 (woden) decoys and / or inviting living decoy-ducks are placed in the water in front of the hut hidden in the reeds. The decoys should look realistically and they should not have long necks. Ducks with long necks detect danger so over flying birds won’t be willing to land there.

< Hand tame hunting buddies are pampered daily by their owners and addressed and spoken to, so that they recognize the boss. To their leg is a special knitted shoe or a piece of nylon stocking. On this a snap with a rope and a weight that prevents the attractor swims away. If there is a flight of ducks nearby, the decoys will croak. The wild flyers will approach in large circles, closer, and will lunge in.
Even more effective is to put the ducks with the art decoys and keep the drake in the hut. If a flight comes over, the duck hunter throws the drake, which then loud quacking will perch, hereby lure the wild ducks in his wake.

The wind plays a big role. Ducks take off and land into the wind.



The Dutch duck decoy was invented in the 13th or 14th century in Holland (de kooi (decoy) means cage).
The cage is a piece of land and water, designed to catch wild ducks. It consists of a large pond where some narrow locks end in, called trapping tubes, surrounded by a dense hedge or fence. At the end of the pipe, there is a long fyke. Some call- or quack ducks serve as a decoy.

The semi- tame ducks are fed daily in the trap pipe by the decoy man. They move in the spring to locks in the environment and in the summer they come back with their gains to their daycare center in the cage puddle. The tame ducks know that when they see the decoy doggie near the trap pipe, there is food sprinkled in the trap pipe so then swim massively in to catch food.
The wild ducks followed carefully.

Then comes the decoy man with his dog in action. The reed screens around the lake and along the pipes can hide the decoy man’s move without the ducks there regarding something. He sends his dog with gestures through openings such that the ducks see him. The domestic ducks know they are fed and swimm in the trap pipe. The dog shows further into the trap pipe again. When enough mallards entered far enough into the trap pipe, the decoy man appears suddenly. Shy ducks fly right up to the end of the pipe and end up in the fyke. The tame ducks remain calm bobbing at the sight of the decoy man and swim back to the lake when food is eaten.

The expression ’behind the scenes’ originate in duck decoy!
Today, the duck decoy is still often used for ringing and scientific research.

In his survival book, Rüdiger Nehberg writes that you can strip skin of a captive waterfowl and prepare it so that you can put that as a cap on your head .With this camouflage you can come, with just the hat with viewing slits above the water, close to the ducks. Never go in straight line, but quiet, back and forth. If you 're close, just grab the legs, pull the animal under water and scrag its neck. So you can have multiple outwit. If the water is not too cold.
It seems appropriate to wear a wetsuit, or better yet wear a diving suit against hypothermia. Because the insulating neoprene is buoyancy and volume increases, you should compensate with additional weight that has little volume under water: a weight belt, stones...

The dark breast fillets are in almost all cultures greatly appreciated.