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Mallard Duck (Anas platyrhynchos)

Introduced gamebird.


The mallard can be seen swimming on the river and in the maimais in Fernbird Flat.

The male mallard has a glossy green head, a white ring around the neck, a chestnut breast, orange feet, and a grey back. The female is much less showy, with upperparts patterned in browns and lower parts pale. She has a pale line above the eye and a dark line through the eye, and looks similar to the grey duck. The female can be distinguished from the grey duck by her darker throat and by the lines above and below the eye, which are much less distinct than in the grey duck. The dark stripe through the eye on the mallard is also much less distinct. The mallard has orange legs, with webbed feet, rather than the grey duck's yellow-green. Greys and mallards are capable of hybridising, so some intermediate versions may be seen, especially in the males.


The mallard is a dabbling duck, which means it feeds from the surface of shallow water and doesn't usually dive for its food, which consists of aquatic invertebrates and plants. It may pick things off the surface or upend itself and reach down into the water, its tail sticking up.

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