Mallard Anas platyrhynchos

  • © Francisco Piedrahita

A globally-distributed, common, and familiar duck, the Mallard is extremely adaptable and can be found in freshwater, brackish and saltwater habitats. Despite being very distinctive, the Mexican Duck is a subspecies of Mallard that is well represented in the neotropics. Male and female Mexican Ducks are virtually identical, both are a warm, mottled-brown color overall, with a greenish-blue speculum, and an olive-yellow bill. The Mexican Duck subspecies of the Mallard can be found as far south as central Mexico. The Mallard is a generalist, foraging on aquatic plants, terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates, and even occasionally feeding on amphibians and small fish. Its omnivorous diet and adaptability to different habitats are two of the main reasons for its abundance. Despite extensive hunting pressure throughout its range, the Mallard remains extremely abundant; recent global population estimates have numbered this species at over 25 million individuals.

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Female decrescendo calls

© Arthur A. Allen

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: