The mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) is a dabbling duck belonging to the family Anatidae. The mallard species are distributed in Asia including Indian Subcontinent, Europe, North Africa and subtropical Americas.
- Scientific Name: Anas platyrhynchos
- Common Name: Mallard
- French: Canard colvert; German: Stockente; Spanish: Ánade azulón;
- Other names: Anas boschas, Linnaeus, 1758; wild duck; common mallard; greenland mallard;
- Family: Anatidae › Anseriformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
- Species author: Linnaeus, 1758
|Indian birds - Mallard - Anas platyrhynchos|
DescriptionThe male mallard is larger than the female, measuring 55 to 70 cm in length and weighing 850 to 1,800 grams. The female mallard measures 50 to 60 cm in length and weighs 700 to 1,300 grams. The male mallard has iridescent green head. The wings are grey and the belly is pale grey. The male has a purplish-brown breast. They females have brown speckled plumage. The bill is yellowish orange and may be tipped black. There is white band on the neck. The feet are orange.
HabitatThe mallard species are observed in both freshwater and saline wetlands. They inhabit ponds, lakes, streams, creeks, estuaries, marshlands, swamps and open sea.
Feeding habitsThese mallard species are omnivorous, feeding on small fish, molluscs, crustaceans, insects, aquatic plants, seeds, roots and tubers.
BreedingMallards form pairs during October and November in the Northern hemisphere and female starts laying eggs in the spring. The nest are concealed among vegetation and the nest may have eight to twelve eggs. The female mallard takes care of hatchlings.
DistributionThe breeding populations of subspecies A. p. platyrhynchos are mostly concentrated in northern Europe, North America and Asia. In the Southern hemisphere they occur in Australia. They migrate southwards to Africa, Southeast Asia, Indian Subcontinent, China, Mexico and Cuba. The subspecies A. p. conboschas occurs in Greenland.
Movement PatternsThe mallard species are sedentary or migratory considering their habitats. Birds form temperate regions tend to migrate southwards.
Status and conservationThere is significant increase in the mallard population. Their wide range of distribution as well as their adaptability to wide range of habitats and climates has made them least threatened.
The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated these mallard species and has listed them as of "Least Concern".
Image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mallard_drake_(anas_platyrhynchos).JPG
Author: Charlesjsharp | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
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