Anas Platyrhynchos – Mallard

Anas Platyrhynchos - Mallard found in the US

The mallard or wild duck (Anas platyrhynchos) is a dabbling duck found in temperate and subtropical Americas, Eurasia, and North Africa. This duck is a member of the waterfowl subfamily Anatinae of the family Anatidae. This species is the direct ancestor of the majority of domestic duck breeds.

Quick Overview: Anas Platyrhynchos – Mallard
Body size: Around 23 in (58 cm) and a weight of 1799 g (63.49 oz)
Main colors: Gray, Chestnut-Brown, Green, White, Yellow, White, Purple-Blue, Black, Orange
Range: Throughout the United States
Migratory Bird: Yes
Best time of the year to see in the U.S.: All Year (January – December)
Conservation Status: Least Concern

Mallard Description

The gray body, chestnut-brown breast, green head, white neck ring, yellow bill, white-bordered metallic purple-blue wing speculum, white-edged dark tail, two curled black feathers, and orange legs and feet distinguish this medium-sized duck.

Anas Platyrhynchos - Mallard found in the US
Anas Platyrhynchos – Mallard. Photo by: 611catbirds, too


These birds have a length of 23 in (58 cm) and a weight of 1799 g (63.49 oz). Their wings could range from 43-48 in (109-122 cm).


The majority of the mallard’s diet consists of plants. It feeds on grass and sedge seeds, as well as the leaves, stems, and seeds of aquatic plants. It consumes insects, crabs, and mollusks on occasion, especially when it is young.


Anas platyrhynchos is a lowland species that inhabit nearly every form of freshwater marsh. They do, however, avoid oligotrophic, fast-flowing, or devoid of vegetation streams.


Around 67 percent of the time, both pair members engaged in the same behavior; the male was always more likely to be doing the same activity as the female, but when the male was resting on water or attentive, the female was more likely to be eating. The behavior of brood females was unrelated to brood age or size.

Anas Platyrhynchos Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Anseriformes
  • Family: Anatidae
  • Genus: Anas
  • Species: Anas platyrhynchos

Best time of the year to see

In the United States, the best time of year to see these birds is all year round, regardless of the season. This refers to any month of the year between January and December.

Distribution of the Mallard in the USA

Breeds from Alaska and Labrador all the way down to southern California, northern Mexico, Arkansas, and along the East Coast to northern Florida. Winters in various parts of the United States and south to Central America and the West Indies.

The Mallard can be found in the following states in the United States – Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Anas Platyrhynchos – Mallard

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