Mallard - Anas platyrhynchos


    The Mallard is a large duck with a long body and a long and broad bill. The male has a dark green head, a yellow bill, is mainly purple-brown on the breast and grey on the body. The female is mainly brown with an orange bill. It breeds in all parts of the UK in summer and winter, wherever there are suitable wetland habitats, although it is scarcer in upland areas. Mallards in the UK may be resident breeders or migrants - many of the birds that breed in Iceland and northern Europe spend the winter here.

    Identification difficulty

    It is our commonest duck and most widespread so you have a chance of seeing it just about anywhere where there is suitable wetland habitat, even in urban areas

    When to see it

    All year round

    Life History

    It feeds by dabbling for plant food or grazing. It usually nests on a river bank, but not always near water. It is highly gregarious outside of the breeding season and will form large flocks. The ducklings are nidifugous - they can swim and feed themselves on insects as soon as they hatch.

    UK Status

    Widespread and common in Britain

    VC55 Status

    Common as a winter bird and as a breeding bird in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map