Mallard Duck

Anas platyrhynchos

The mallard duck is the best-known species of wild duck in the northern hemisphere. The species is distributed mainly in wetlands throughout North America, Europe, and Asia and has been introduced to other parts of the world. It is found across Canada but its numbers are greatest in the Prairie provinces. These numbers are currently being threatened by drought and changes in migration patterns, wintering ranges, and habitats. Plans such as the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) have been launched to restore duck populations and the wetland ecosystems so essential to their survival.

Characteristics

The mallard duck is approximately 60cm (2 ft) long with a wing span of 82-95 cm (32-37 in.) The male duck (drake) is brightly coloured from September to June during breeding season. During this time, the drake stands out with a brilliant glossy green head and upper neck, separated from a light grey breast and a rusty coloured back by a white ring resembling a collar. Its bill is yellowish green…

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