Anas Platyrhynchos – Mallard

Distinguishing Features:

  • MALE – Head and neck, green with narrow white collar. Lower neck and breast, dark brown; upper parts and tops of wings, essentially a browny-gray, with violet wing patches edged top and bottom with white. Bill, greeny-yellow; legs, orange.
  • FEMALE – Head, buff, streaked with darker brown; throat, lightly spotted. Upper parts darker brown with lighter feather edges. Wing patches similar to male but greenier. Breast and belly, buff with brown or blackish markings. Sides darker with buff feather edges; tail slate-brown with paler outer edges. Bill, greeny-yellow; legs, orange.
    (Male and female pair pictured below.)

  • Size – 50 – 68.5 cm
  • (20 – 27.5 in)



Lakes, ponds, rivers, marshlands, and flooded farmlands.


Almost always on the ground. Nest is made of grasses, leaves, and reeds, lined with down.

Eggs, 5 – 15; varies from dull grayish or greenish to white. The incubation period is 25 – 30 days.


The Mallard is possibly the best-known duck in the world. Its varied diet consists of aquatic plant roots, seeds, insects, and smaller aquatic animals.

It is also fond of grains and sometimes frowned upon by farmers when they appear in large flocks in fields. Its trademark call is a loud Quack.

Read more about common bird species here.