Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Least Concern

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)


Taxonomy

French: Canard colvert German: Stockente Spanish: Ánade azulón
Other common names: Common Mallard (platyrhynchos), Greenland Mallard (conboschas)
Taxonomy:

Anas platyrhynchos

Linnaeus

, 1758,

Europe

.

Sometimes considered to include some or all of A. laysanensis, A. rubripes, A. fulvigula and A. wyvilliana. Probable unstable hybrids of A. superciliosa and A. laysanensis, A. wyvilliana or present species, found on some Micronesian islands, have been considered a different species, Mariana Duck (A. oustaleti). Hybridization recorded with at least 23 other species of Anas, often producing fertile progeny, and also with several species of Aix, Alopochen, Anser, Branta, Tadorna, Cairina, Aythya and Somateria. Proposed race neoborea is synonymized with nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. p. platyrhynchos Linnaeus, 1758 – most of Palearctic and Nearctic; winter populations reach Africa (Nile Valley), SE Asia (Indus Valley to SE China), Mexico and Cuba.
  • A. p. conboschas C. L. Brehm, 1831 – SW & SE Greenland coast (on W coast N to Upernavik).
  • Introduced to South Africa, Mauritius, Australia and New Zealand, among others.

    Descriptive notes

    Male 55–70 cm, female 50–60 cm; male 870–1800 g, female 735–1320 g; wingspan 75–100 cm (nominate). Large, heavy-looking, dabbling duck; eclipse... read more

    Voice

    Male platyrhynchos/conboschas gives nasal, weak-sounding, repeated “raeb”,... read more

    Habitat

    Can occur on almost every wetland within range, large or small, seasonal or permanent, in fresh,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Omnivorous and opportunistic, readily taken advantage of human handouts, bread, etc. Seeds and vegetative parts of aquatic and crop plants... read more

    Breeding

    Most data pertain to platyrhynchos. Mainly Feb–Jun, occasionally Jan, but varies depending on latitude, with first laying... read more

    Movements

    Partially migratory, northernmost breeding populations generally winter much further S, with large... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Perhaps most widespread and numerous of all ducks, in good part due to its adaptability to humanized areas, as well as to... read more

    Recommended citation

    Carboneras, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2017). Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from http://www.hbw.com/node/52875 on 20 August 2017).