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Anas platyrhynchos

The Mallard is the largest of the dabbling ducks and the most abundant duck species in North America, found in all flyways. The Mallard drake is often called a "greenhead" due to its distinctive iridescent green head and neck, a white neck ring and a brown breast. The drake's body is gray and the rump is black with a white tail. The hen has a mottled brown body with an orange and black bill. Both the hen and drake have blue wing patches bordered with white bands.

Length: 24"
Weight: 2 3/4 lbs.

Illustration of Mallard hen and eclipse drake

The main wintering area is the lower Mississippi basin, and along the gulf coast, but many stay as far north as open waters permits.

illustration of mallard wings

illustration of mallard drake

Flocks often feed in early morning and late afternoon in nearby harvested fields, returning to marshes and creeks to spend the night.

The flight is not particularly rapid.

illustration of typical mallard flock pattern

illustration of mallard in flightside view illustration of mallard in flight

Hens have a loud quack; the drake's voice is a low-pitched kwek-kwek.