(Anas platyrhynchos)

Order:  Anseriformes
Family:  Anatidae

Male and Female Mallard
Photo © Don DesJardin

Mallard Information

Length:  20 - 28"

Breeding habitat: Edges of lakes, rivers, ponds, streams; marshes, wooded swamps, sloughs, flooded fields, reservoirs. Requires habitat with shallow water for feeding.

Winter habitat: Lakes and rivers with some
open water; sometimes, coastal marshes and bays.

Diet:  Seeds of grasses and sedges; seeds, roots, and stems of other aquatic vegetation; acorns, waste grains, crustaceans, mollusks, small fish, frogs, tadpoles, insects.

  Songs and displays of the Mallard

   Photo: Male and Female Mallard with Ducklings

Additional Information

Description, distribution, behavior, diet, reproduction, predators, lifespan, and conservation status. Includes photos and range map. (From Wikipedia)

Mallard Drake Launching Into Flight

Mallard Drake Launching Into Flight

Credit: Erwin and Peggy Bauer/USFWS

Identification Tips

  • Large dabbling duck
  • Blue speculum with white bar along both leading and trailing edges
  • Silvery-white wing linings
  • Juvenile similar to adult female
Male Alternate (Breeding)
  • Alternate plumage worn from fall through early summer
  • Gray back
  • Yellow bill
  • Green head
  • White ring around neck
  • Chestnut breast
  • Gray flanks and upperwing coverts
  • Black undertail coverts contrast with white tail

(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)

Breeding Bird Survey Map,

Mallard Breeding Map

(Image credit: USGS)

Winter Map from eBird

Sightings of the Mallard Nov-Mar over last 10 years

Christmas Bird Count Map
Historical CBC Map from USGS