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|Scientific name:||Anas platyrhynchos|
|Other names:||Common Mallard Duck, Wild duck, English Duck, Green-headed Duck|
|Status on Vashon:||Common|
The Mallard is a dabbling (surface water feeding) duck that breeds throughout the temperate and subtropical Americas, Europe, Asia, and North Africa, and is common on Vashon. This species is the ancestor of most breeds of domestic ducks.
The breeding male mallard is unmistakable, with a glossy bottle-green head and white collar which demarcates the head from the purple-tinged brown breast, grey brown wings, and a pale grey belly. Both male and female mallards have distinct iridescent purple blue speculum feathers edged with white, prominent in flight or at rest. A noisy species, the male has a nasal call, and a high-pitched whistle, while the female has a deeper 'quack' stereotypically associated with ducks.
The mallard is omnivorous and very flexible in its foods choice. The majority of the mallard's diet seems to be made up of gastropods, invertebrates (including beetles, flies, lepidopterans, dragonflies, and caddisflies), crustaceans, worms, many varieties of seeds and plant matter, and roots and tubers.
Unlike many waterfowl, mallards have benefited from human alterations to the world. They are very adaptable, being able to live and even thrive in urban areas which may have supported more localized, sensitive species of waterfowl before development.
|More details:||Encyclopedia of Life Wikipedia|
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