Mallard, Anas platyrhynchos
Anatidae or Duck Family

Adult male and female

Medium to large duck, about 2 ft long with a wingspan of about 3 ft. Males and females are quite different. In breeding season male has a glossy green head with a white collar and a yellow beak, and a purplish brown body with white below and black at the rear. Female is brown, marked with white, with a black or orange bill. Both males and females have a patch of iridiscent blue feathers(the speculum) on their wings. This is best seen in the female at right. Outside of the breeding season the male is dull and brown, but still has his blue speculum.

The mallard is a dabbling duck, ducking its head to eat plant matter from the water. It also eats snails, cryfish and insects.

The mallard is widely distributed in the northern hemisphere and down into Australia and New Zealand. It is the most common duck of parks and is commonly seen in Wildwood, swimming and dabbling in Connelly's Run.

The male's green head is unmistakeable and the female can be identified by her male company.

More Information 

Adult female

Female, above, and male


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