Mallards drinking salt water

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Mallards drinking salt water

Postby Fatback » Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:38 pm

Just wondering does anyone know what sort of salinity levels mallards can tolerate drinking, are they good with brackish water. I heard black ducks are fine too, and know eiders can.
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Re: Mallards drinking salt water

Postby cluckmeister » Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:36 pm

Fatback, go to Google Earth and type in Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, enhance the size and look at all the white that is currently showing. The picture was taken during a dry year and the white is salt deposits, this year the whole area is flooded with the water very brackish, Currently there are around 98,000 ducks on the area. So with this in mind, I would say all puddlers and divers have a very good salt tolerance.
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Re: Mallards drinking salt water

Postby ClemsnHntr » Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:32 am

I'm sure it would be like you drinking it, you can only tolerate so much of it before it is unhealthy.
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Re: Mallards drinking salt water

Postby Fatback » Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:22 am

cluckmeister wrote:Fatback, go to Google Earth and type in Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, enhance the size and look at all the white that is currently showing. The picture was taken during a dry year and the white is salt deposits, this year the whole area is flooded with the water very brackish, Currently there are around 98,000 ducks on the area. So with this in mind, I would say all puddlers and divers have a very good salt tolerance.


yes , I live on the Atlantic ocean brother, lots of ducks in the salt water....Question is, are they drinking the salt water ( or what can they tolerate), biologist claim that only Sea ducks ( Eiders, scoters, ole squaw) and possibly Black ducks can drink it as they have glands that process it. I'm just wondering at what salinity level do puddlers stop drinking and have to get fresh water...if any?
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Re: Mallards drinking salt water

Postby JuniorPre 360 » Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:26 am

The Salt Lake in my state is 27% salinity and we shoot a lot of divers and quite a few mallards as well as other puddler ducks. Not a lot of fresh water open once the big freeze hits. I've always wondered if they are out chugging this salty water as well.
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Re: Mallards drinking salt water

Postby Fatback » Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:32 am

Ya thats what i'm trying to figure out... are they picking up and getting a drink else where? Can they drink brackish water floating on the top?
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Re: Mallards drinking salt water

Postby btoups » Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:50 am

I'm no expert, but I've heard that since fresh water is lighter than salt water, even though the body of water is salty, there is some fresh or partially fresh water floating on top that they are able to drink.
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Re: Mallards drinking salt water

Postby SquadIrons » Fri Nov 01, 2013 7:35 am

btoups wrote:I'm no expert, but I've heard that since fresh water is lighter than salt water, even though the body of water is salty, there is some fresh or partially fresh water floating on top that they are able to drink.


Salt dissolves in water. Salt water is water miscible, which means it mixes with water. It all mixes together and doesn't stratify.
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Re: Mallards drinking salt water

Postby Fatback » Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:44 pm

So that debunks the drinking fresh water off the top


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Re: Mallards drinking salt water

Postby aunt betty » Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:04 pm

I'll ask the next duck I C. Copterdoc taught my dog to speak human AND duckspeak. Milo can translate for me.@

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Re: Mallards drinking salt water

Postby Fatback » Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:35 pm

Thanks Betty!


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Re: Mallards drinking salt water

Postby LeakyBoot » Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:50 pm

Ducks have these special glands that allow them to drink salt water. The glands excrete the excess salt thru openings at their bill. Ducks can go from drinking fresh water to salt water at any time.

"Three processes central to osmoregulation of marine
birds were compared in three species of ducks that differ
in habitat affinity, diet and saline tolerance. These
processes are filtration of Na+ and water from the plasma
by the kidneys, their reabsorption along the renal tubules,
and secretion by the salt glands. Barrow’s goldeneyes
Bucephala islandica, the most marine species, have the
highest rates for all three processes and only this species
can secrete all the infused salt via the salt glands. Rates
of all three processes are lower in mallards Anas
platyrhynchos, the most freshwater species. Following
saline acclimation, mallards could excrete all the infused
Na+ by a combined Na+ excretion of the kidneys and salt
glands. Canvasbacks Aythya valisineria, despite being
more saline tolerant than mallards, are unable to excrete
all the infused Na+. They produce a large volume of urine
(like mallards) that has a low [Na+] (like goldeneyes). Salt
gland secretion Na+ concentration did not differ among
the three species, but only goldeneyes secrete at a rate
sufficient to eliminate all infused Na+ via the salt glands.
Differences in saline tolerance of these ducks species
cannot be fully explained by differences in their filtration,
reabsorption and secretion of Na+ and water, suggesting
that the intestinal tract plays an important role."
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Re: Mallards drinking salt water

Postby Fatback » Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:01 pm

So they just squirt it out, one way or another ...


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Re: Mallards drinking salt water

Postby 733SubDucker » Fri Nov 08, 2013 1:14 pm

Fatback,

I hunt salt marshes and bays late season on the coast of Maine. My observations are that Mallards require fresh water to purge the salt. We do best setting up where a small stream enters the salt marsh.
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