Mallard

Anas platyrhynchos

One of the most common ducks in the northern hemisphere, these ducks are also found in southwestern Australia. No doubt, Mallards are the most recognizable ducks in the world. Most domesticated ducks can trace their ancestry to this bird. Mallard drakes are sexually aggressive and will force copulation on to any hen from the genus Anas, producing fertile hybrid offspring and confusing the gene pool of otherwise purebred ducks. Mallards are highly adaptable in their choice of habitat and their diet. They can exploit many regions, both rural and urban, from tropical to tundra, and consume both animal and plant food sources.

Vocally, it is easy to distinguish the hen from the drake. Males offer a quiet “wak-wak-wak-wak” sound, while the females issue those loud and raucous, almost angry sounding “WAAACK-WACK-WACK-Wack-wak” calls most of us hear. Perhaps she IS angry. She is the only member of the breeding pair to take responsibility for raising the babies.

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