Waterfowl Identification

The Mallard, Anas platyrhynchos, is the largest of the dabbling ducks and the most abundant duck species in North America, found in all flyways. The Mallard drake is often called a "greenhead" due to its distinctive iridescent green head and neck, a white neck ring and a brown breast. The drake's body is gray and the rump is black with a white tail. The hen has a mottled brown body with an orange and black bill. Both the hen and drake have blue wing patches bordered with white bands.
Image comparing drake and hen/UISFWS Drake images

The main wintering area is the lower Mississippi basin, and along the gulf coast, but many stay as far north as open waters permits.

Flocks often feed in early morning and late afternoon in nearby harvested fields, returning to marshes and creeks to spend the night. The flight is not particularly rapid.

Length: 24"
Weight: 2 3/4 lbs.

Image comparing fulvous and Black-bellied whistling ducks wings/USFWS


 Distribution Map

Similar Species

In Flight
In flight illustration/USFWS In flight illustration/USFWS Flock Pattern

Hens have a loud quack; the drake's voice is a low-pitched kwek-kwek.

Last Updated: November 14, 2018