Mallard

Scientific Name:

Anas platyrhynchos

Type:

Bird

Habitat:

Natural and man-made aquatic areas including lakes, ponds, rivers, parks, and yards

Range:

North America, Europe, Asia, and northern Africa

Status:

Least Concern (IUCN Red List)

This species is

NATIVE

to the Truckee Meadows.

Identification:

Mallards are sexually dimorphic ducks, meaning that males and females look different. Female and adolescent male mallards have dappled brown bodies and orange bills. Males have brown bodies, black chests and tails, yellow bills, iridescent blue patches on their wings, and bright green, iridescent heads. Mallards, like all dabbling ducks, feed in the water by tipping forward with their trails in the air while feeding on underwater vegetation.

Fast Facts:

  • All domestic ducks, with the exception of Muscovy ducks, are descendants of mallards.

  • Mallards are strong flyers, able to travel at 55 miles per hour.

  • The common duck quack that most people think of is the sound of a female mallard. Male mallards don't quack, but instead vocalize through quieter, rasping sounds.

  • For 3-4 weeks at the end of the breeding season, mallards lose their feathers and are flightless for that time. During this flightless time, mallards try to stay hidden this is the time at which they are most vulnerable.

  • In the Paiute language, the word for duck is Puhu.

Sources:

Contributor(s):

Haley McGuire (research & content)

Alex Shahbazi (edits & page design)

Last Updated:

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