›      ›   Mallard - Anas platyrhynchos.

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
The three recognized subspecies are, A. p. platyrhynchos Linnaeus, 1758, A. p. domesticus (domesticated duck) Linnaeus, 1758 and A. p. conboschas C. L. Brehm, 1831.

Earlier A. fulvigula (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was included in A. platyrhynchos.
Indian birds - Mallard - Anas platyrhynchos
Indian birds - Mallard - Anas platyrhynchos


The 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.


The mallard species are observed in both freshwater and saline wetlands. They inhabit ponds, lakes, streams, creeks, estuaries, marshlands, swamps and open sea.

Feeding habits

These mallard species are omnivorous, feeding on small fish, molluscs, crustaceans, insects, aquatic plants, seeds, roots and tubers.


Mallards 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.


The 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 Patterns

The mallard species are sedentary or migratory considering their habitats. Birds form temperate regions tend to migrate southwards.

Status and conservation

There 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".

Biological classification of Anas platyrhynchos
Species:A. platyrhynchos
Binomial name:Anas platyrhynchos
Distribution:Subtropical Americas, Europe, Asia, North Africa, Indian Subcontinent;
Feeding habits:frogs, insects, aquatic invertebrates, fish, molluscs and plant matter;
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern

Popular posts in Birds of India

Image source:
Author: Charlesjsharp | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
Current topic in Birds of India: Mallard - Anas platyrhynchos.
Contact State Tourism or travel agents for bird watching and wildlife tours.