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Mallard
Anas platyrhynchos

Dabbling Ducks
Waterfowl Family (Anatidae)

Size: Length: 50-70 cm Wingspan: 90 cm

Description: Mallards are the single most well recognized dabbling duck. The males (drakes) have a green head, and yellow bill. The base of the neck has a narrow band of white. The chest and forebody is brown, with the sides and belly becoming white towards the rear. The tail is black. The distinctive speculum is blue with white bordering the inner and outer edges. They have orange feet.

The hens are much more drably coloured, being primarily mottled brown. There is some black markings on the orange bill, and a faint dark eye stripe. The blue and white of the speculum is also visible when flying and swimming.

Similar Species: The shoveler has a similar green head, but a dark and very broad bill. It also has white breast.

Range: Mallards are common across much of Canada and the United States, including the Canadian and American Rockies.

Habitat: Shallow wetlands, including marshes, ponds, lakes of all sizes and river. It is very adaptable and readily moves to new habitats.

Diet: Feeds on floating seeds and shallow vegetation.

Nesting: Mallards generally build their nest on the ground near the water. Occasionally, the nest may be in a tree, and it may rarely be distant from water. They lay an average of 10-12 pale green or blue green eggs. Incubation is 26-29 days and is undertaken by the hen. The nestlings are precocial. They fledge at 7-8 weeks.

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All Material Ward Cameron 2005

 

 

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