Mallard

This invasive species is the ancestor to most of the modern ducks

Assaf Levy

The most commonly recognized and widely distributed duck species across the globe. Its familiarity is partly due to its adaptability to various habitats, as well as its ease of identification by the striking green head of the male during the breeding season. The female, in contrast, sports a mottled brown plumage that provides excellent camouflage in its natural habitat.

Mallards are large dabbling ducks, which means they feed in the water by tipping forward and grazing on underwater plants. They do not dive, but they may feed on land, foraging for grains and invertebrates, which make up a large part of their diet. This diet versatility allows them to thrive in diverse environments.

These birds are often found in temperate and subtropical regions of North America, Eurasia, and North Africa. They have also been introduced in other places, such as New Zealand and Australia. The habitats they prefer include a range of wetlands such as rivers, lakes, ponds, marshes, estuaries, and coastal bays. The key habitat features are shallow water and abundant vegetation, which provide food and cover.

During the mating season, Mallards become more selective about their habitat, often seeking secluded areas with dense vegetation near water bodies to build their nests and raise their young. The female lays an average of 8 to 13 eggs, which she incubates for about four weeks. After hatching, the ducklings are precocial, meaning they are relatively mature and mobile from the moment of birth, able to leave the nest within a day.

Mallards are highly social outside of the breeding season, forming large flocks that can be seen and heard over long distances. These gatherings are not only a social structure but also a defense mechanism against predators.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Afghanistan
2016
Non-Breeding
Albania
2016
Algeria
2016
Antigua & Barbuda
2016
Vagrant
Armenia
2016
Australia
2016
Breeding
Austria
2016
Azerbaijan
2016
Bahamas
2016
Bahrain
2016
Non-Breeding
Bangladesh
2016
Belarus
2016
Belgium
2016
Belize
2016
Bermuda
2016
Breeding
Bhutan
2016
Bosnia And Herz.
2016
Brunei
2016
Vagrant
Bulgaria
2016
Canada
2016
Cayman Islands
2016
Vagrant
China
2016
Cook Islands
2016
Vagrant
Costa Rica
2016
Non-Breeding
Croatia
2016
Cuba
2016
Cyprus
2016
Czechia
2016
Denmark
2016
Djibouti
2016
Vagrant
Dominican Republic
2016
Vagrant
Egypt
2016
Eritrea
2016
Estonia
2016
Ethiopia
2016
Falkland Islands
2016
Malvinas
Faroe Islands
2016
Fiji
2016
Non-Breeding
Finland
2016
France
2016
Gambia
2016
Vagrant
Georgia
2016
Germany
2016
Gibraltar
2016
Vagrant
Greece
2016
Greenland
2016
Guadeloupe
2016
Vagrant
Guam
2016
Non-Breeding
Guatemala
2016
Haiti
2016
Honduras
2016
Hong Kong
2016
Hungary
2016
Iceland
2016
India
2016
Iran
2016
Iraq
2016
Ireland
2016
Israel
2016
Breeding
Italy
2016
Jamaica
2016
Seasonality Uncertain
Japan
2016
Jordan
2016
Non-Breeding
Kazakhstan
2016
Breeding
Kenya
2016
Kiribati
2016
Vagrant
Korea
2016
Kuwait
2016
Kyrgyzstan
2016
Breeding
Latvia
2016
Lebanon
2016
Libya
2016
Liechtenstein
2016
Lithuania
2016
Luxembourg
2016
Malaysia
2016
Mali
2016
Vagrant
Malta
2016
Marshall Islands
2016
Origin Uncertain
Martinique
2016
Vagrant
Mauritania
2016
Mexico
2016
Micronesia
2016
Origin Uncertain
Moldova
2016
Mongolia
2016
Breeding
Montenegro
2016
Morocco
2016
Myanmar
2016
Nepal
2016
Netherlands
2016
New Caledonia
2016
Possibly Extinct, Introduced
New Zealand
2016
Breeding
Nicaragua
2016
Niger
2016
Vagrant
Nigeria
2016
Vagrant
Nort. Mariana Is.
2016
Non-Breeding
North Korea
2016
Breeding
North Macedonia
2016
Norway
2016
Oman
2016
Non-Breeding
Pakistan
2016
Panama
2016
Vagrant
Philippines
2016
Poland
2016
Portugal
2016
Puerto Rico
2016
Qatar
2016
Non-Breeding
Romania
2016
Russia
2016
Breeding: Eastern Asian Russia
Saint Pierre
2016
Saint Vincent
2016
Vagrant
Saudi Arabia
2016
Non-Breeding
Senegal
2016
Vagrant
Serbia
2016
Seychelles
2016
Vagrant
Slovakia
2016
Slovenia
2016
Somalia
2016
South Georgia
2016
South Sudan
2016
Non-Breeding
Spain
2016
Non-Breeding: Canary Is.
Sri Lanka
2016
Non-Breeding
Sudan
2016
Svalbard
2016
Vagrant
Sweden
2016
Switzerland
2016
Syria
2016
Taiwan
2016
Tajikistan
2016
Breeding
Thailand
2016
Vagrant
Tunisia
2016
Turkey
2016
Turkmenistan
2016
Breeding
Turks & Caicos
2016
UAE
2016
US Virgin Islands
2016
Vagrant
Ukraine
2016
United Kingdom
2016
United States
2016
Breeding: Hawaiian Is.
Uzbekistan
2016
Breeding
Vanuatu
2016
Vagrant
Vietnam
2016
Yemen
2016
Non-Breeding
Zambia
2016
Vagrant

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic / Monomorphic (size)

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd / Flock

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No