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Bird Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)


Staff member
Jun 5, 2011
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Picton NSW
Common Name: Mallard

Scientific Name: Anas platyrhynchos

Order: Anseriformes

Family: Anatidae

Other Names: Wild Duck

Distribution: Introduced Duck

Habitat: Near lakes and rivers

Field Notes: The male birds have a bright green or blue head, while the female's is light brown. The Mallard lives in wetlands, eats water plants, and is gregarious. The Mallard is the ancestor of most domestic ducks, and can interbreed with other species of genus Anas. However, a potentially terminal side effect of this vast interbreeding capability is gradual genetic dilution, which is causing rarer species of ducks to become at risk for extinction. (wikipedia)




Richard Proenneke
Aug 3, 2011
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Interestingly Mallards are not native to Australia & are officially recognised as a pest species.
They pose a threat to native wild Pacific Black Ducks through interbreeding & genetic dominance over the native species(dilution of the native species as mentioned above).
The ducks pictured in the #1 photo are typical hybrids. The striped head is a typical characteristic of the native wild black duck whilst the orange legs are a giveaway to the cross breeding with Mallards. These birds are females. The green headed birds in pic #2 are typical male Mallard drakes.
The green head should not however be confused with the native Chestnut Teal which frequent coastal wetlands.
The 'Chesties' are a much smaller bird than the Mallards & have different plumage to the Mallard's predominantly white feathering.
Below is a pic of male/female Chestnut Teal (Drake with green head)

Bill A.

Chestnut Teal pair.jpg