(Anas platyrhynchos)




Facts about this animal

The mallard is a large dabbling duck with a length of 56–65 cm and a wingspan of 81–98 cm. Body-weight in males is about 1250 g, in females 1080 g. The bill of the male is yellow-green, of the female dusky orange

The breeding plumage of the male is unmistakable: bottle-green head, a narrow white ring around the neck, brown breast brownish-grey body, white outer tail feathers, and a violet-blue speculum (the secondary feathers located on the back inner portion of the wing). The female is a variable brown, and also has a violet-blue speculum. Males in eclipse resempble the female.


Nest sites are usually on ground, in cities on flat roofs, and may be at considerable distance from water. 8 to 10 greyish or buffish green eggs are laid, which are incubated by the female alone for 28 days.

Outside the breeding season, mallards are highly gregarious.

The food of the mallard consists mainly of water plants and grass and herbs, but they take also insects and other small animals.

Did you know?
that the mallard is the ancestor of the domestic duck? Mallards were first domesticated in China about 3000 years ago.


Class AVES
Suborder ANSERES
Name (Scientific) Anas platyrhynchos
Name (English) Mallard
Name (French) Canard colvert
Name (German) Stockente
Name (Spanish) Azulón
Local names Afrikaans: Groenkopeend
Czech: Kachna divoká
Danish: Gråand
Dutch: Wilde Eend
Finnish: Heinäsorsa, Sinisorsa
Estonian: Sinikael-part
Hungarian: Tokés réce
Italian: Germano reale
Latvian: Meza pile
Norwegian: Stokkand
Romansh: Anda selvadia
Slovakian: Kacica divá
Swedish: Gräsand
Turkish: Yesilbas
CITES Status Not listed
CMS Status Appendix II (as Anatidae spp.) Included in AEWA INVASIVE SPECIES!



Photo Copyright by
Jörg Hempel



Range Breeds throuhghout the Northern Hemisphere. Winters in the southern portion of the breeding range south to North Africa, the Arabian Gulf, India, China, Japan and Mexico. Invasive species, which has established populations elsewhere, including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa.
Habitat Freshwater wetlands, including bogs, marshes, swamps, fens, peatlands, rivers, dams, lakes etc.
Wild population The global population is estimated to be 29,000,000 to 30,000,000 individuals by Wetlands International (2002).
Zoo population Mallards can be seen in many zoos, but most of them are not zoo birds but wild. 684 specimens were reported to ISIS (2006). This figure does not include Laysan and Diaz' teals, but may include domestic stock or wild birds living at the zoo.

In the Zoo



How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 18 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


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Why do zoos keep this animal

The mallard is not a threatened species. Zoos may keep them for educational purposes as it is the ancestor of the domestic duck. However, most mallards seen at zoos are not "kept", but are wild birds having chosen the zoo as their habitat.