Can a Mallard be White?

Although it never really got sunny today, it was bright enough that I wasn’t going to sit around the house all day, or even mow the lawn, for that matter. No, I headed out for Lake Waughop in Steilacoom to get in some walking if nothing else.

And it’s a good thing I didn’t have high expectations because there weren’t too many photographic opportunities. The highlight of the day was probably observing this white mallard and trying to decide if she was or was not a mallard. Though her size and her shape suggest she is a mallard, her color and even the color of her beak suggest otherwise. I wonder if she had somehow adopted these ducklings, but they certainly didn’t give any signs of that. Until proven otherwise, and the internet seems remarkably undecided about this, I’m going to assume that she was a mallard and not a domestic duck that had escaped.

White Mallard? which ducklings

There were very few other birds present today, and the ones that were there seemed more concerned with protecting and feeding young than posing for a picture.

So I had to content myself with taking pictures of the brilliant purple flowers springing up everywhere,

Sweet Peas?

and trying to get pictures of dragonflies who seemed far too busy to pose.


I had even less success getting pictures of the few Swallowtails I saw, but I’m assuming that will change shortly.

4 thoughts on “Can a Mallard be White?”

  1. Could she be an albino mallard, Loren? We have white Aylesbury ducks on our beck as well as teal and mallard – often the chicks seem to be a bit of amixture, so don’t know whether the domestic duck may mate with the wild.

  2. That was my first thought, but I thought albinos almost always came with pink eyes. Online reading suggested that there are a certain number of mallards that have this tendency and that white domestic ducks were bred from mallards that had that genetic tendency.

  3. This looks remarkably like the Peking ducks we used to raise on our farm near Fresno. The first ones arrived all unbidden via the irrigation canal, so we were not familiar with their family tree. The babies look about right, too, for that variety of duck. Nothing cuter than a duckling (unless it’s a piglet).

  4. The adult definitely looks like a Peking duck, but the offspring of Peking ducks, at least as shown at the web sites I visited, lack the dark streaks these ducklings show.

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