Friday, July 22, 2011

Mallard Anas platyrhynchos

All The Birds Of North America: Mallard Anas platyrhynchos

Probably the most common duck in all of the Northern Hemisphere, the Mallard is the ancestor of nearly all the domestic ducks in the world. Even wild populations seem to find the company of people unobjectionable, for Mallards are frequently seen in harbors and large city parks, where semidomesticated family groups often paddle up alongside a boat, quacking and looking for a handout.

Identificatio: 18-27". Breeding drake grayish, with green head, brown breast, and white neck-ring*. Female and nonbreeding drake mottled brown with white tail and orange-and-brown bill. Both sexes have glossy blue speculum, visible in flight.

Mallard Anas platyrhynchos Voice Female utters a loud, familiar quack; male gives a reedy rah-rah-rah.

Habitat Ponds, lakes, rivers, marshes, bays, beaches, and parks.

Range Breeds from Alaska to Nova Scotia, south to S. California, Texas, and Virginia. Winters from British Columbia and New England to Mexico and south.

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