Mallards are dabbling ducks -- and dabbling ducks typically only feed at the water surface rather than by diving.
Joanne, an Avianweb visitor - who lives on a cove, just 200 yards from Long Island Sound/Atlantic Ocean - enjoys the company of myriad water fowl.
She has been watching the mallard ducks in her backyard pond her entire life, but has only in recent years observed them diving for food. Other species of ducks also seemingly adapted to a changing environment by diving for food -- such as the Spot-billed Ducks. Lack of traditional food sources may be the cause of this new feeding behavior. They may also have learned and watched from diving ducks.
Mallard ducks in the Chitose River next to the Chitose Salmon Aquarium were also seen diving for food. They appeared to be eating salmon eggs - which are not usually part of their traditional diet. Following is the relevant article: Mystery as non-diving mallard ducks start searching for food underwater
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