Operation Dethrone Mallard 2022

This year I have a grandiose new desire: To do whatever is in my power to prevent the Mallard from being the most observed species of the year. This is no easy feat! Mallards can be found all over the world and are observed by all walks of users. Thats why I think it’d be amazing to see a different species take the top spot. I don’t particularly care what it is as long as its not a mallard (or a western honey bee which is usually second). Do you stand by me in the effort to defeat the Mallards?

What species do you think would be a great dethroner of the dastardly ducks? What foe can stand to their immense power! Discuss! Plot the Mallards defeat! Scheme and have fun!

EDIT** Just for clarity this is just to beat mallads observations within the year of 2022 not all time.


I think a lot of people see fence lizards and house sparrows. I could see those overtaking mallards, at least regionally

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Regional defeats are a good start. I desire a global defeat which may be best achieved with widespread birds or insects. American Robin or Monarch could be strong contenders.


I predict it’s not going to happen! One would need to conjure up 28,154 observations of western honey bee (the closest contender) while not adding any mallard observations. Observations of western honey bee would need to increase by about 20%. No other species is really even close. And I’m definitely not going to start posting a bunch of honey bee observations! :wink: The mallard wins fair and square–let them bask in their glory. :smirk:


I only want to beat Mallard for 2022 observations! I agree taking on mallard as a whole is a whole different battle, but beating it for observations just in 2022 seems like a fun challenge! :)


I think Mallard has been the most observed species every year for the last who knows how many years. I want 2022 to be the year where they come away in second or third place. So currently beating the mallard would be pretty easy, there’s only about 100 observations of them so far. Each day they will get harder to surpass but thats what makes it fun! It’s an ongoing 365 day battle for supremacy!


That’s funny, I saw my first wild Mallard yesterday, in my creek. I didn’t realise they are so widespread.


It’s only easy if you are able to reach many thousand observers and convince them to not post mallard pics! But that ain’t easy!


Easy today harder the next. But! It’s gonna be a lot easier to maintain a lead on other species asides mallards than it would be to make any species catch up to where Mallard is overall. Last year there was around 75K mallard observations. Which undoubtedly will be less than there will be this year, but we are in the unique position of starting from a blank slate of the new year! Its less a function of not observing mallards and more one of strongly observing other species! Where there’s a will there is a way!

I am your nemesis - I am one of the people who posts at least one mallard every day I see them. Strangely, it’s only my second most-observed species though, behind california bay.

Still, we may be able to come to some sketchy back-room deal. Make me an offer, and we’ll see if I can withstand the temptation of mallard.


Those are both exclusively north american species. I think the best bet would be something that’s been introduced globally - perhaps feral pigeons / rock doves?

Edit: surprised to see feral pigeons are only top 20, so maybe not as good a contender as I thought… Maybe house sparrows could do it.


Mallard does occur in Australia, New Zealand, SE Asia, and parts of Europe, not to mention its the 3rd most observed sp on inat. Though yeah robins aren’t the best contenders in that regard. Rock Doves could definitely stand a good chance too!

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Laughing about “I desire a global defeat” - that’s an appropriately ambitious sentiment for the start of a new year! :grin:


Hmmm. If it’s a plant I could annoy every one by photographing the same individual every day. Hahah.

Edit: actually it would be difficult or perhaps impossible for me to see a wild perennial plant every day (urban environment here.) I’d have to make it an annual plant and then it might die before year end. How long do dandelions live? ;)


1,543 observations of mallard were seen on May 1 2021, which I think was the highest observation day for them last year. Common dandelion was right behind with 1,539 observations


Dandelions would definitely be a good contender, those bad boys are everywhere!


“Common dandelion” is so misapplied due to the erroneous belief in many amateurs (myself previously included) that there is just one species of dandelion in North America, despite there actually being a fair amount of dandelion diversity in North America. I wouldn’t try pursuing that one as a contender for “most observed species” since it could just make a messy situation even worse. Most observed genus, on the other hand…


I have heard that, yes. Too bad.

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Yeah thats the struggle, dandelion microspecies are terrifyingly complicated.

Herons, and Wigeons could have some strong potential.