Domesticated Mallard in a pond on the outskirts of St. John's, Newfoundland
Female Mallard in non-breeding plumage in the Ottawa River, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Male Mallard in non-breeding plumage in the Rideau River, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Female Mallard in Breeding Plumage in a marsh in Aylmer, Quebec, Canada
Male Mallard in breeding plumage in a marsh in Aylmer, Quebec, Canada
|Name||B L||W W||W||Family||Latin Name|
|Mallard||23" 58.42cm||35" 88.90cm||2.4lb 1.09kg||Anastidae||Anas platrhynchos|
|Click on the bird name below to see the habitat and range map of the|
Written by: Bruce Di Labio
French: Canard colvert
Probably the most recognized duck in North America, the Mallard is abundant over most of the Northern Hemisphere. This handsome duck is well known by both nature enthusiasts and hunters. The male is always a show stopper and easily recognized, with its vibrant, iridescent green head. Females pale in comparison with a combination of buffed brown streaks to dark brown colouration.
During the fall and winter season, Mallard pairs start forming and males can be seen displaying in an attempt to lure a partner for later breeding. Throughout fall migration, thousands of Mallards can be found feeding in cornfields during the day. During the spring and summer, family groups can be easily found in city parks, lakes and ponds- just about anywhere there is fresh water. The number of nestlings can vary and range from 5 to 15 duckling. Ducklings leave the nest after one day and follow the hen, feeding themselves. Ducklings generally take flight 5 to 6 weeks after hatching.
The Mallard primarily eats plant material, including grasses, sedges, pond weeds, but also eats aquatic insects, frogs, earthworms and small fish. Though classified as a puddle duck or surface feeder, the Mallard can dive in shallow waters when food is just out of reach.