Scientific Name: Anas platyrhynchos Common Name: Mallard
Identifying Features: Male has glossy bottle-green head, white collar, purple-tinged brown breast, grey-brown wings, pale grey belly, black rear end, yellowish-orange bill tipped with black; Female has dark brown colour body, darker crown and eye-stripe. Both male and female have distinct iridescent purple-blue speculum feathers edged with white.
- It is highly gregarious outside of the breeding season and forms large flocks, which are known as “sordes.”
- The predation-avoidance behaviour of sleeping with one eye open, allowing one brain hemisphere to remain aware while the other half sleeps, was first demonstrated in mallards, although it is believed to be widespread among birds in general.
- The mallard duck can cross breed with 63 other species, posing a severe threat to indigenous waterfowl’s genetic integrity. It is common for mallards to mate with domestic ducks and produce hybrid offspring that are fully fertile.
This image was clicked by Ronerman – via Flickr.
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