Mallard Anas platyrhynchos   [Linnaeus, 1758]

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Order: Anseriformes Family: Anatidae
BTO Codes: MA, MALLA EURING No: 1860
Number in Britain: 100 thousand Pairs (Summer)
Conservation Status:
European: Not a species of concern
Global: (Details)
Status in UK: (AC2C4)  Introduced/Resident Breeder, Winter Visitor
Subspecies: platyrhynchos recorded in Britain (of 3 subsp. in the world)
Length: 58 cm Wingspan: 90 cm Weight: M: 1.2 kg   F: 980 g    
Scientific name from: L.: anas=a duck and Gr.: platus=broad + rhunkhos=bill
World Distribution: Eurasia, North America, widely domesticated
Habitat: Anywhere with water
Diet: Omnivorous and opportunistic
TitBit: The plain brown colour of the female is so different from the male that they were originally thought to be separate species; the original ancestor of most domestic ducks.  
Identification Tips:
  Images from IBC or search flickr
  Videos from IBC
  Sound from xeno-canto
Crossley ID photos

Population and Distribution

Population Trend: BirdTrends   
Regional Trends: Scotland   Wales   England   English Regions
Distribution: Atlas Mapstore    BBS Maps
British Population Size:
    Summer: 100 thousand Pairs in 2009
    Winter: 680 thousand individuals in 2004/05 - 2008/09
    First Record: Recorded in Anglo-Saxon times [Fossil evidence from Middle Pleistocene, c. 500,000 yr ago]
    Conservation Status: AMBER because Recent Non-breeding Population Decline,
   Previous Assessments: 2002-2007 GREEN     1996-2001 GREEN  
   Races of Concern: platyrhynchos AMBER (Recent Decline)
Habitat Occupancy (in the Breeding Season):
    Most frequent in: Along Rivers
    Also common in: Lakes, Ponds
    And found in: Estuaries
Relative Frequency in Each Habitat:
Migration routes: Map of foreign ringing recoveries  and summary map from Time to Fly (in pop-up windows)
European Population Size:
    Summer: 2 to 3.4 million pairs   (Trend in Numbers)
Population Assesment from Birds in Europe
Distribution in Europe mapped by the EBCC Atlas
Listed on the Appendices/Schedules of: WCA(II,III), WBD(II*,III*), Bern(III), Bonn(II), AEWA
Survey Results: Results from BirdTrack

Breeding and Survival

Egg Size: 57 x 41 mm Egg Weight: 54.0 g (of which 8 % is shell)
Number of Nest Records: 193
Clutch Size: 11 - 14 eggs
Incubation: 27- 28 days   by the: Female
Fledging: 50 - 60days as: Precocial, downy
First Clutches Laid: Unavailable
Number of Broods: 1
See trends in Breeding Productivity
Number Ringed: Annual Totals
Adult Survival: 0.627    (M:0.679 ± 0.011; F:0.575 ± 0.021)      
Juvenile Survival: 0.518 (in First-Year)  
Age at First Breeding: 1 year Typical Lifespan: 3 years
Maximum Recorded Age: 20 years 5 months 17 days (set in 1986)
Read a summary of Ringing Recoveries


Ring Size: G*
Wing Length Adult: 274.5 ± 12.4 Range 255 - 293 mm, N =2568
Juvenile: 268.0 ± 16.5 241 - 288 mm, N =1345
Male: 281.2 ± 10.3 265 - 295 mm, N =1476
Female: 265.3 ± 8.4 252 - 278 mm, N =1065
Weight Adult: 1.21 ± 0.17 Range 0.95 - 1.51 kg , N =1859
Juvenile: 1.09 ± 0.16 0.85 - 1.34 kg , N =1005
Male: 1.27 ± 0.17 1.02 - 1.55 kg , N =1057
Female: 1.13 ± 0.15 0.90 - 1.39 kg , N =797
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Ringing Scheme data

Other Names

Gaelic: Lach-riabhach Welsh: Hwyaden Wyllt
Danish: Grĺand Dutch: Wilde eend
Finnish: Sinisorsa French: Canard colvert
German: Stockente Hungarian: Tokés réce
Icelandic: Stokkönd Irish: Mallard
Italian: Germano reale Norwegian: Stokkand
Polish: Krzyzówka Portuguese: Pato-real
Spanish: Anade real Swedish: Gräsand

For More Information...

Books and Monographs:
   Kear, J 2005 Ducks, geese and swans Oxford University Press [598.48 KEA]
   Cabot, D. 2009 Wildfowl Collins, London
See Also:
Find scientific papers on Google Scholar or Scirus by clicking the icon
Wikipedia entry
HBW account (subscription required)
BirdLife species page
Recent sightings and information from BirdGuides
All About Birds (from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology)