Mallard

Scientific Name: 
Anas platyrhynchos
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58 cm; Male 1300 g, Female 1100 g. The familiar duck of parks and farm ponds. All have orange legs and feet, and a blue speculum bordered with thin black and broader white bands front and back. Breeding male has dark glossy green head, chestnut breast, pale grey body, black rump and undertail; bill yellow-green. Female is streaked and spotted brown and buff on body and wings; bill brownish grey with orange at base, sides and tip. Eclipse male like female but has greyer head and neck, with remnants of green on crown and nape, and chestnut wash on breast. Juvenile similar to female. Variable plumage because of interbreeding with Grey Duck. Feeds by dabbling on water surface or by upending; also grazes and eats cereals. Rises nearly vertically from water and flies with fast shallow wingbeats. Female call the well-known ''quack, quack''; male call a soft high-pitched ''quek''. Habitat: Wetlands, estuaries, rivers, farm ditches, parks and cereal crops. Breeding: Jul-Jan.

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