Erika spied this gorgeous male Mallard during our hike along the Bass Ponds on 11 March 2016. Ornithologists believe that North American Mallard males and females were initially similarly colored. Mallards with bright males appear to have invaded North America from Asia (Drilling et al. 2002). These males interbred with native populations. Kevin Omland demonstrated that male mallards with bright bills are more successful in mating than birds with duller bills. Males with brighter plumage also had the best pairing success. Males that molt earliest are most likely to find mates.