Mallards, the ancestor of almost all breeds of domestic ducks, are the most recognized and widely distributed waterfowl in the world. Occupying fresh and brackish waters, especially in wetlands, they also utilize agricultural fields near water as habitat . They are dabbling ducks which means they do not dive underwater for food but feed at or just below the surface, upending in shallow water to get at morsels in the mud bottom .
Click on the language to view common names.
Common Names in Afrikaans:
Common Names in Dutch:
Common Names in English:
Mallard, Common Mallard, common wild duck, curly-tail, domestic duck, english duck, French duck, gray duck, gray mallard, green-headed duck, greenhead, mallard duck, mallard ducks, Mexican duck, New Mexican duck, Northern Mallard, stock duck
Common Names in French:
Common Names in German:
Common Names in Hebrew:
Common Names in Italian:
Common Names in Japanese:
Common Names in Russian:
Common Names in Spanish:
Anade real, Azulón, Pato de collar
Common Names in Swedish:
Adult Female: Face : Facial Skin : orange Bill: orange and black mottled Legs : Leg Color: orange Wings : Speculum: metallic blue-violet with white borders Tail: white.Adult Male: Head : shiny green Face: Facial Skin: orange Bill: yellow Neck: Collar : narrow white ring Body: Back: gray brown Breast: purple chestnut Color: pale gray Sides: white Underparts: white Legs: Leg Color: orange Wings: Speculum: metallic blue-violet with white borders Tail: white Shape : 2 curled up black tail feathers..
These birds require shallow water habitats for feeding such as streams , ponds , lakes , marshes, swamps , wetlands, and flooded fields . The water can be fresh or brackish . Although not a preferred habitat, these birds are seen in saltwater marinas but not in the open ocean. They also need dry land for nesting and resting. In Southern California they can occasionally be found nesting in urban gardens under shrubbery.
Vegetation: freshwater lakes and ponds, freshwater marshes • Maximum Elevation: 1,000 meters • Foraging Strata: Water • Center of Abundance: Lower subtropical: lowlands, lower than 500 m.; subtropics. • Sensitivity to Disturbance: Low
Typically found at an altitude of 0 to 3,215 meters (0 to 10,548 feet).
Behaviour In temperate regions
breeding populations of this species
or dispersive, often making local movements during
severe weather5. Other populations are fully migratory2
with females and juveniles
leaving the breeding grounds
in the western
from Septemberand returning as early as February5.
The species breeds between March and June3 in single
pairs or loose
groups1 although the exact timing
varies with latitude3. While the females are incubating4
(from mid-May)5, 6 the males gather3
in small flocks and migrate to moulting areas6
where they undergo a flightless moulting period lasting for c.4 weeks5
(females moult near the breeding grounds)6. Outside
of the breeding season
the species can be found in small to very
large flocks3 numbering up to several hundreds
or even thousands of individuals7 especially when
moulting5, on migration7 and
during the winter2. The species may also roost
both nocturnally and diurnally in communal
groups when not breeding8.
Habitat The species occurs in almost every wetland type1
although it generally avoids fast-flowing, oligotrophic1,
5, 7, deep, exposed, rough, rockbound waters and hard unvegetated
areas such as rocky ground
dunes and artificial surfacing7.
It requires water less than 1 m
deep for foraging7
and shows a preference for freshwater
although it may frequent shallow brackish waters as long as they
provide the cover1, 5 of submerged, floating, emergent
vegetation, dense reedbeds or overhanging branches7.
commonly frequented include flooded swampy woodlands, seasonal
floodlands7, wet grassy swamps
and meadows, oxbow
lakes6, open waters
, banks or spits
waters1, 5, 7,
canals and sewage
farms7. During the winter the
species may also be found in saline habitats along the coast3
where water is shallow, fairly sheltered and within site of land7
lagoons7, brackish estuaries1,
7 and bays1). Diet The species
and opportunistic1, 7, feeding by
in water and by grazing on the land7.
consists of seeds and the vegetative
parts of aquatic
)1, as well as terrestrial
and aquatic invertebrates (especially in the spring
and summer) such
as insects, molluscs
, crustaceans, worms and occasionally amphibians
and fish1. Breeding site The nest
is a shallow
depression7 or bowl
of vegetation that can be situated
in many different locations such as within vegetation on the ground,
in natural tree
cavities1 up to 10 m high (Africa)8,
under fallen dead wood
, on tree stumps6, under
bushes8 and even in abandoned nests of other species
(e.g. herons or crows)6. Nests are generally placed
close to water2 although occasionally they may
be some distance
"Extensive" grazing of wetland grasslands (c.0.5 cows
was found to attract a higher abundance
of the species in Hungary19.
Studies in Danish coastal wetlands found that the spatial restriction
of shore-based shooting was more successful at maintaining waterfowl
population sizes than was the temporal
restriction of shooting, and
therefore that wildfowl reserves should incorporate shooting-free
refuges that include adjacent
marshland in order
to ensure high waterfowl
species diversity20. The cyclical removal of adult
fish from an artificial waterbody
) in the UK resulted
in an increase in invertebrate
food availability and an increase
in the growth of submerged aquatic macrophytes, which in turn
to an increased use of the habitat for brood rearing
by the species26.
The removed fish (dead or alive) were sold to generate funds26.
The species will also nest in artificial nest boxes1, 8
List of Habitats:
- 5 Wetlands (inland)
- 5.1 Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls )
- 5.4 Wetlands (inland) - Bogs , Marshes, Swamps, Fens , Peatlands
- 5.5 Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha)
- 5.7 Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
- 5.14 Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Saline, Brackish or Alkaline Lakes
- 5.17 Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent Saline, Brackish or Alkaline Marshes/Pools
- 15 Artificial/Aquatic and Marine
- 15.1 Artificial/Aquatic - Water Storage Areas (over 8ha)
- 15.2 Artificial/Aquatic - Ponds (below 8ha)
- 15.3 Artificial/Aquatic - Aquaculture Ponds
- 15.6 Artificial/Aquatic - Wastewater Treatment Areas
- 15.7 Artificial/Aquatic - Irrigated Land (includes irrigation channels)
- 15.9 Artificial/Aquatic - Canals and Drainage Channels , Ditches
of mallards consists mainly of vegetation (floating, submerged,
and emergent), but also includes aquatic
such as worms,
mollusks, and arthropods
. They eat seeds of wild rice, pond- weeds
water elm, and oaks, and visit agricultural stubble fields
on leftover grain. They also eat people food fed to them by humans
in parks, at lakes
This is usually bread which is not good
Mallards have several eating strategies. They feed at the water’s surface by straining water through their bill, upend in shallow water to reach deeper food items either below the surface such as submerged plants or in the mud such as snails. Walking on land , they pick up food with the nail of their bill or strip seed heads and foliage with the bill's edge .
- Whittaker & Margulis,1978
- C. Linnaeus, 1758
- (Hatschek, 1888) Cavalier-Smith, 1983
- Grobben, 1908
- (Haeckel, 1874) Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Bateson, 1885
- Cuvier, 1812
- Jawed Vertebrates
- Goodrich, 1930
- Linnaeus, 1758
- Gauthier, 1986
- (C. Linnaeus, 1758)
- Pycraft, 1900
- Sibley et al., 1988
- Wagler, 1831
- Suborder: Anseres () - (C. Linnaeus, 1758) Wagler, 1831
- Order: Anseriformes () - Wagler, 1831
- Superorder: Galloanserimorphae () - Sibley et al., 1988
- Cohort: Neognathae () - Pycraft, 1900
- Infraclass: Aves () - (C. Linnaeus, 1758)
- Subclass: Avialae () - Gauthier, 1986
- Class: Aves () - Linnaeus, 1758
- Superclass: Tetrapoda () - Goodrich, 1930
- Infraphylum: Gnathostomata () - auct. - Jawed Vertebrates
- Subphylum: Vertebrata () - Cuvier, 1812 - Vertebrates
- Phylum: Chordata () - Bateson, 1885 - Chordates
- Infrakingdom: Chordonia () - (Haeckel, 1874) Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Branch: Deuterostomia () - Grobben, 1908
- Subkingdom: Bilateria () - (Hatschek, 1888) Cavalier-Smith, 1983
- Kingdom: Animalia () - C. Linnaeus, 1758 - animals
Members of the genus Anas
ZipcodeZoo has pages for 99 species and subspecies in this genus:
A. acuta (Northern Pintail) · A. acuta acuta (Northern Pintail) · A. acuta drygalskii (Northern Pintail) · A. acuta eatoni (Northern Pintail) · A. albogularis (Andaman Teal) · A. americana (American Wigeon) · A. andium (Andean Teal) · A. aucklandica (Auckland Islands Teal) · A. aucklandica aucklandica (New Zealand Brown Teal) · A. aucklandica nesiotis (Campbell Island Flightless Teal) · A. bahamensis (White-Cheeked Pintail) · A. bahamensis bahamensis (White-Cheeked Pintail (White-Cheeked)) · A. bahamensis galapagensis (White-Cheeked Pintail (Galapagos)) · A. bernieri (Bernier's Teal) · A. capensis (African Cape Teal) · A. carolinensis (Green-Winged Teal) · A. carolinensis carolinensis (Green-Winged Teal) · A. castanea (Chestnut Teal) · A. chlorotis (Brown Teal) · A. clypeata (Northern Shoveler) · A. crecca (Green-Winged Teal) · A. crecca carolinensis (Green-Winged Teal (American)) · A. crecca crecca (Green-Winged Teal (Eurasian)) · A. crecca nimia (Aleutian Green-Winged Teal) · A. cyanoptera (Cinnamon Teal) · A. cyanoptera cyanoptera (Cinnamon Teal) · A. cyanoptera septentrionalium (Cinnamon Teal) · A. diazi (Mexican Duck) · A. diazi novimexicana (New Mexican Duck) · A. discors (Blue-Winged Teal) · A. discors discors (Blue-Winged Teal) · A. discors orphna (Blue-Winged Teal) · A. drygalskii (Crozet Pintail) · A. eatoni (Eaton's Pintail) · A. erythrorhyncha (Red-Billed Teal) · A. falcata (Falcated Duck) · A. flavirostris (Yellow-Billed Teal) · A. flavirostris flavirostris (Yellow-Billed Teal (Flavirostris)) · A. flavirostris oxyptera (Yellow-Billed Teal (Oxyptera)) · A. formosa (Baikal Teal) · A. formosa georgi (Spectacled Teal) · A. formosus (Spectacled Teal) · A. fulcigula (Mottled Duck) · A. fulvigula (Mottled Duck) · A. fulvigula fulvigula (Mottled Duck (Florida)) · A. fulvigula maculosa (Mottled Duck (Gulf Coast)) · A. fulvigula x platyrhynchos (Mottled Duck) · A. georgica (Yellow-Billed Pintail) · A. georgica georgica (Yellow-Billed Pintail (South Georgia)) · A. georgica spinicauda (Yellow-Billed Pintail (South American)) · A. gibberifrons (Sunda Teal) · A. gibberifrons gibberifrons (Sunda Teal) · A. gracilis (Gray Teal) · A. hottentota (Hottentot Teal) · A. laysanensis (Laysan Duck) · A. leucophrys (Ringed Teal) · A. luzonica (Philippine Duck) · A. marecula (Amsterdam Duck) · A. melleri (Meller's Duck) · A. nesiotis (Campbell Islands Teal) · A. oustaleti (Anjouan Island Sparrow Hawk) · A. penelope (Eurasian Wigeon) · A. platalea (Red Shoveler) · A. platyrhynchos (Mallard) · A. platyrhynchos conboschas (Mallard) · A. platyrhynchos diazi (Mallard (Mexican)) · A. platyrhynchos platyrhynchos (Mallard (Northern)) · A. platyrhynchos Rouen duct (Mallard) · A. poecilorhyncha (Indian Spot-Billed Duck) · A. poecilorhyncha poecilorhyncha (Indian Spot-Billed Duck) · A. puna (Puna Teal) · A. punctata (Pacific Black Duck) · A. querquedula (Garganey) · A. rhynchotis (Australasian Shoveler) · A. rhynchotis rhynchotis (Australasian Shoveler) · A. rubripes (American Black Duck) · A. sibilatrix (Chiloe Wigeon) · A. smithii (Cape Shoveler) · A. sparsa (African Black Duck) · A. sparsa sparsa (African Black Duck) · A. specularioides (Crested Duck) · A. specularioides specularioides (Crested Duck) · A. specularis (Bronze-Winged Duck) · A. strepera (Gadwall) · A. strepera couesi (Gadwall (Coues's)) · A. strepera strepera (Gadwall (Common)) · A. superciliosa (Pacific Black Duck) · A. superciliosa pelewensis (Gray Duck) · A. superciliosa superciliosa (Gray Duck) · A. theodori (Mauritian Duck) · A. undulata (Yellow-Billed Duck) · A. undulata undulata (African Yellow-Billed Duck) · A. versicolor (Silver Teal) · A. versicolor versicolor (Silver Teal) · A. waigiuensis (Salvadori's Duck) · A. waigivensis (Salvadori's Duck) · A. wyvilliana (Hawaiian Duck) · A. zonorhyncha (Eastern Spot-Billed Duck) · A. zonorhyncha zonorhyncha (Eastern Spot-Billed Duck)
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Accessed through GBIF Data Portal November 28, 2007:
- Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility, North West Territories and Nunavut Bird Checklist, Canada
- Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility, Ontario Nest Records
- Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility, Provincial Museum of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada. Birds
- Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility, Royal British Columbia Museum
- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 11696
- Catalogue of Life Accepted Name Code: ITS-714703
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility Taxonkey: 2490700
- Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Taxonomic Serial Number (TSN): 175063
- IUCN ID: 190932
- Natural Heritage Network Species Identifier: ABNJB10060
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 270
- Mean = 1,204.240 meters (3,950.919 feet), Standard Deviation = 1,341.080 based on 796 observations. Altitude information for each observation from British Oceanographic Data Centre. [back]
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