|Mallards are large ducks with hefty bodies, rounded heads, and wide, flat bills. Like many “dabbling ducks” the body
is long and the tail rides high out of the water, giving a blunt shape. In flight their wings are broad and set back
toward the rear.
Male Mallards have a dark, iridescent-green head and bright yellow bill. The gray body is sandwiched between a
brown breast and black rear. Females and juveniles are mottled brown with orange-and-brown bills. Both sexes
have a white-bordered, blue “speculum” patch in the wing.
Mallards are “dabbling ducks”—they feed in the water by tipping forward and grazing on underwater plants. They
almost never dive. They can be very tame ducks especially in city ponds, and often group together with other
Mallards and other species of dabbling ducks.
Mallards can live in almost any wetland habitat, natural or artificial. Look for them on lakes, ponds, marshes, rivers,
and coastal habitats, as well as city and suburban parks and residential backyards.
The Mallard is the ancestor of nearly all domestic duck breeds (everything except the Muscovy Duck). Domestic
ducks can be common in city ponds and can be confusing to identify—they may lack the white neck ring, show white
on the chest, be all dark, or show oddly shaped crests on the head.
Number of Broods
Unmarked creamy to grayish or greenish buff.
Condition at Hatching
Newly hatched birds are covered in down
and alert; they are ready to leave the nest
within 13–16 hours.