Murie, Olaus J. (1959) FAUNA OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS AND ALASKA PENINSULA, 1936-38, U.S. Dept. Interior, Fish & Wildlife Service, Washington. Pg 74-
Mallard: Anas platyrhynchos:
Anas platyrhynchos platyrhynchos
Aleut names: Attu: Argh'-ich
Atka: Ag-ich (apparently the same word in both dialects)
Russian, Commander Islands: Selesenn (Stejneger)
The mallard is widespread throughout the length of the Alaska Peninsula and Aleutian Islands, both as a breeding species and as a winter resident. Stejneger (1887) reported also that it was "resident, breeding numerously in Bering Island; comparatively rare on Copper Island." In 1886, Turner reported that the mallard was plentiful in the Aleutians in winter, and stated that it breeds sparingly on Agattu and Semichi Islands and that a few pairs were seen on Amchitka Island in the latter part of May 1881 — which indicates nesting. Our expeditions verify this information. In1936, Attu natives stated that they had observed these birds nesting near streams, and stated that they winter there. The following season, on June 9, which was during the nesting season, wesaw several mallards along the shore of Attu Island. Wilson (1948) observed them at Attu in the breeding season when some of them were paired. The last ones observed were on August 28. We found a number of mallards among the lakes of Agattu Island, and on June 13 we found a female with eight downy young. On June 21, 1937, a pair was seen among the lakes on the southeast part of Kiska Island, and another pair was seen in a lake at the South Harbor. On July 5, we flushed two males and a female from a pond on Amchitka Island. The natives of Atka also assured us that mallards are found there both summer and winter, which suggests nesting. June 20, 1941, Gabrielson saw a female with four young at Unalaska Island. The islands mentioned here are the principal ones that contain ponds and lakes. However, Cahn found this bird nesting at Unalaska Island.
Farther east, we obtained additional nesting data. On May 7, 1925, I found a nest of 11 eggs at Urilia Bay, Unimak Island. On June 6, a nest of 5 fresh eggs was found in a stream valley below Aghileen Pinnacles, western Alaska Peninsula, and on June 23 a nest of 10 eggs was observed on the tide flat at Hazen Point, Izembek Bay. In 1936, residents at Port Moller assured us that mallards nest around Nelson Lagoon, and in 1928 Jaques (1930) found it a "common breeder in the Port Moller region." On May 29, 1936, we saw a single male at Ugashik River. We had seen a pair at Chisik Island, Tuxedni Bay, in Cook Inlet on May 6, and, on May 9, another pair was observed at Anchor- age. According to Osgood (1904), "McKay found the species breeding at Nushagak and took a number of specimens there in May and June, 1881." Gabrielson noted a few along Kvichak River July 23, 1940, including one brood of young. He also noted a male in the Barren Islands on June 13.
Mallards undoubtedly nest on various islands south of the Alaska Peninsula. On August 29, 1936, I saw two mallards on a pond on Simeonof Island, in the Shumagins, and the local rancher said they nest there. On Afognak Island, September 2, 1936, 14 mallards were seen in a lily pond. These could have been migrants, yet mallards undoubtedly nest there because they are known to nest on Kodiak, nearby.
As stated above, mallards winter throughout the territory under discussion. Localities where considerable numbers have been reported are Unalaska, Kanaga, and Unimak. We were told by natives of Unimak that when the bays and lakes freeze over, the mallards move to the unfrozen streams in the interior of the island and return to the lowlands only when the ice has disappeared.
In the summer and fall of 1936 there was an unusually large run of salmon up the streams of Unimak Island; at that time, mallards and other ducks, we were told, assembled there to feed on free-floating salmon eggs.