Mallard Duck| Anas platyrhynchos

The Mallard Duck is native to Europe but there have been birds released into the wild and many escapees that make up a small feral population in Southern Africa. They often interbreed with the native Yellowbilled Duck.

Robert's Birding Information: Mallard Duck

Mallard DuckThe Mallard is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Anatidae bird family group which includes birds such as Ducks, Geese.

The description for the Mallard (Latin name Anas platyrhynchos) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Anas platyrhynchos can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of and the detailed description of this bird is on page 106. You will find a picture of the Mallard on page 97.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Mallard between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition.

The Mallard has a height of 65 cms and weighs around 1150 gms. The head is coloured green while the bill is coloured yellow. The Anas platyrhynchos has a green coloured throat, orange legs and a olive, green coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Anas platyrhynchos has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is green.

Eyes are brown.

Bill is yellow.

Legs are orange.

Throat is green.

Back is olive, green.

Photo's & Differentiating Between Male, Female & Juveniles

Please click the images below to make them larger:

Male Adult Mallard Duck male adult
Female Adult  
Juvenile Similar to female.
Non Breeding Plumage N/A

Mallard Duck Feeding Habits ...

This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten.

Mallard Duck Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Mallard is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 4 to 18 eggs and they are coloured green.

The bird builds its nest on the ground with figs, straw and leaves. The nest is placed under a bush to protect the young from predators.

The Mallard is found in the Southern African wetlands, riverine forests and moist grasslands.

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks.