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Juvenile Mallard Mallard Mallard Chicks


Above and bottom left © Julia Flanagan
Bottom center and right © John White

Anas platyrhynchos

The Mallard Duck is probably the best-known and most recognizable of all ducks. The Mallard is the ancestors of almost all domestic ducks.

During breeding season, the male is unmistakable, with a green head, black rear end and a yellowish orange bill tipped with black.

The female Mallard is light brown, like most female dabbling ducks with a dark brown bill. In non-breeding plumage the drake becomes drab, looking more like the female, but is still distinguishable by its yellow bill and reddish breast.

The Mallard inhabits most wetlands, including parks, small ponds and rivers, and usually feeds by dabbling for plant food or grazing.

Mallards usually nests on a river bank, but not always near water. It is highly gregarious outside of the breeding season and will form large flocks.