Mallard

Anas platyrhynchos

Summary 4

Mallards are the most common ducks in the world!!! Male Mallards have a dark, iridescent-green head and bright yellow bill. The gray body is sandwiched between a brown breast and black rear. Females and juveniles are mottled brown with orange-and-brown bills. Both sexes have a white-bordered, blue “speculum” patch in the wing (http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/mallard/id).

Male mallards do not quack, females do! To hear the typical quack of a mallard: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/mallard/sounds

Where on campus? 5

Mallards are primarily seen in Adobe Creek, bordering the southern part of campus. They may occasionally go into the fountains or feed on the lawns.

Habitat 5

Mallards are found anywhere there is fresh water.

Life History 5

Nesting Mallards are ground nesting birds that build shallow depression nests in the soil and pull nearby vegetation in to line it. They can lay up to 13 eggs and will brood up to 3 times/year. Chicks are more or less precocial and can leave the nest within 16 hours from hatching.

Feeding Mallards are generalist foragers and will eat a wide variety of food. They don’t dive, but dabble to feed, tipping forward in the water to eat seeds and aquatic vegetation. They also roam around on the shore and pick at vegetation and prey on the ground. During the breeding season, they eat mainly animal matter including aquatic insect larvae, earthworms, snails and freshwater shrimp. During migration, many Mallards consume largely agricultural seed and grain (http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/mallard/lifehistory).

Distribution 5

Mallards breed throughout the temperate and subtropical Americas, Europe, Asia, and North Africa, and has been introduced to New Zealand and Australia.

Migration 5

Northern populations migrate to Mexico and Central America. California populations are residents. They probably do not nest on campus.

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Charles Lam, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), http://www.flickr.com/photos/49296659@N00/2693516589
  2. (c) Roland zh, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), http://eol.org/data_objects/26881424
  3. (c) Jim Adams, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), http://eol.org/data_objects/17481412
  4. Adapted by gillian360 from a work by (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anas_platyrhynchos
  5. (c) gillian360, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)

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