Photo by Melody

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Anas
Species: platyrhynchos


3 positives
1 neutral
No negatives


This bird has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Vincent, Alabama
Anchorage, Alaska
Phoenix, Arizona
, British Columbia
Fort Bragg, California
Sacramento, California
San Diego, California
San Jose, California
Bartow, Florida
Atlanta, Georgia
Algonquin, Illinois
Cherry Valley, Illinois
Hinsdale, Illinois
Oak Brook, Illinois
Westchester, Illinois
Coatesville, Indiana
Yale, Iowa
Hebron, Kentucky
Bishopville, Maryland
Halifax, Massachusetts
Paw Paw, Michigan
Traverse City, Michigan
Albertville, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Saint Michael, Minnesota
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Grenada, Mississippi
Chester, New York
Hamilton, New York
Pittsford, New York
Belfield, North Dakota
Bend, Oregon
Gold Hill, Oregon
Irrigon, Oregon
Meshoppen, Pennsylvania
Fort Worth, Texas
Lubbock, Texas
Walkerton, Virginia

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Thumbnail #1 of Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) by kniphofia

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Thumbnail #2 of Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) by kniphofia

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Member Notes:

Positive Malus2006 On Feb 8, 2009, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN
(Zone 4a) wrote:

Very common in the Twin Cities area, Minnesota - making up 99% of the duck population there. The remaining duck species is either migrantary, merganser (tend to stay longer than migrantary ducks but not really breeding), wood duck.

During winter time, they loves all open water bodies - when the sun is in a certain brightness you can see them flying in small groups zeroing in on open bodies of water (narrow canals left by old sod farms, spots in creeks where the water motion kept ice from forming, bubblers installed in small to mid size lakes specically to kept them oxygen filled and to keep it open during wintertime to prevent fishkills, opening in rivers, opening near drainage pipes to ponds. You can also see them leaving their open water locations at first crack of dawn. Where they go by daytime is unknown when snow cover the ground deeper than three inches but farmlands might be a possible.

The first stretch of 40 to 50 degree with low snow cover they break up in pairs and start to explore around - in april they will search yards, even landing on roofs for nesting locations - often never good choices as egg and young mortality is high due to distraction, predatory by dogs and cats. They prefer to nest under bushes or under very low evergreen tree branches - I have seen one female nest in the ground below low trimmed hedges a few foot above ground near a hardees. After the eggs hatch the female would herd them a long way toward the nearby pond or wet locations.

In fall, the family either stay or migrant toward locations further south.

Neutral Kelli On Apr 20, 2010, Kelli from L.A. (Canoga Park), CA
(Zone 10a) wrote:

Very adaptable to human activity, as long as there is access to a pond or lake

Positive audsrz On Dec 24, 2010, audsrz from Traverse City, MI
(Zone 5a) wrote:

We too have them a-plenty all winter long. We enjoy the mallards here and everyone slows down in the spring at the usual duck crossings. We sometimes have mini traffic jams when it's time to start teaching the chicks about larger bodies of water. Getting to the front of the line and seeing pedestrians trying to "herd" chicks into some semblance of order makes the wait worth while.

Positive RosinaBloom On Dec 6, 2012, RosinaBloom from Waihi
New Zealand
(Zone 1) wrote:

Male Mallard engage in behaviour unique in the waterfowl world. A few days after females begin incubation, the drakes leave their breeding partners and join up in gangs. If they come upon a female all of them forcibly mate with it. A big group may take so long that the exhausted female drowns. These gang rapes account for up to a fifth of all egg fertilisations, and females caring for broods are seldom attacked. Mallard are the most successful dabbling ducks, evolving in northern hemisphere habitats that were already dominated by agriculture, so they are at ease in farming enviroments. New Zealand flocks have expanded remarkably since the 1930's when acclimiatisation societies introduced American birds for breeding programmes, and liberated their captive-reared progeny - now in the millions - and making up a greater percent of the dabbling duck population. In many districts the Mallard has taken over the endemic grey duck. It is commonly seen on salty or brackish water, and has been slow to take to inland rivers and streams where the grey duck is still predominant. Mallard have little use for deep waters except to rest on or to take refuge in duckshooting season. Most breed when one year old, having paired in June after elaborate mate selection displays. The breeding season is September to December, and nest sites maybe under logs, haystacks or buildings, but are more commonly in pasture grasses or under bushes. The female pushes and wriggles breaking down protruberances and rough grass to form a bowl, where she lays about 13 buff-green eggs - one a day soon after dawn. Incubation by the female alone takes 27 days. The male defends a water territory for the first few days, and the female leaves the nest to feed for two short periods each day. The female, which has sole charge, leads the ducklings to water within a few hours of hatching. They fledge in 8 to 10 weeks. Protein is the main diet of pre-breeding birds and ducklings - aquatic invertebrates being preferred. They eat the seeds of pond-edged plants, the fruits of many aquatic plants, ripening grain crops, pasture grasses when flooded, along with drowned worms and insects. Mallard often take to city lakes, ponds and streams, often feeding from the hand. Probably no other waterfowl is as tolerant of people, though as a game bird it is extremely wary demanding good concealment, skilful calling, and the most life-like decoys. Birds that survive their first year live an average of 3 more years. The oldest bird recovered so far was 14. The male's head is glossy green with other coloured body and wing feathers in contrast to the speckled browns of the female. The female calls a raucous quaaack, quaaack, quaaack while the male's call is a softer raeb, raeb, raeb.

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