Mallard

ID Info
Silhouette DucksDucks

Mallard

Anas platyrhynchos
  • ORDER: Anseriformes
  • FAMILY: Anatidae
Basic Description

If someone at a park is feeding bread to ducks, chances are there are Mallards in the fray. Perhaps the most familiar of all ducks, Mallards occur throughout North America and Eurasia in ponds and parks as well as wilder wetlands and estuaries. The male’s gleaming green head, gray flanks, and black tail-curl arguably make it the most easily identified duck. Mallards have long been hunted for the table, and almost all domestic ducks come from this species.

More ID Info
image of range map for MallardRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

Find This Bird

Look for Mallards at local city or suburban parks, where they’re likely to be accepting food handouts from humans. If you want to see them in a more natural setting, visit a nearby pond or lake—Mallards are likely to be the ducks you most frequently see.

Other Names
  • Ánade Azulón (platyrhynchos/conboschas) (Spanish)
  • Canard colvert (French)

Backyard Tips

If you have a pond or marshy area on your property Mallards might be attracted to your backyard. Occasionally, Mallards have been known to show up in people’s swimming pools.

Consider putting up a nest box to attract a breeding pair. Make sure you put it up well before breeding season. Attach a guard to keep predators from raiding eggs and young. Find out more about nest boxes on our Attract Birds pages. You'll find plans for building a nest box of the appropriate size on our All About Birdhouses site.

  • Cool Facts