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Rakiraki/Mallard Anas platyrhynchos

Introduced. Not assessed.

Male Mallard have 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 Pārera/Grey Duck. The female can be distinguished 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 Mallard is also much less distinct. Greys and Mallards are capable of hybridising, so some intermediate versions may be seen, especially in the males. Unfortunately, this in likely to result in the extinction of this species in Aotearoa New Zealand. Take a good look at those in the Estuary and see the plumage variation.


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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