A dabbling duck that seems unaffected by human disturbance and changing conditions, the Mallard occurs on all inland waters, large or small. It prefers those with plenty of vegetation. To feed, it swims with its bill dabbling in the water surface. As water passes through the bill, small food items such as seeds, leaves, insects, and worms are strained out by a comblike arrangement of plates. The Mallard also up-ends itself to reach down to mud or weeds for food, and grazes on land.

• NliST A hollow in the ground or in a raised site such as a pollarded tree, lined with stems, leaves, feathers, and down.

• DISTRIBUTION Breeds in much of North America and Eurasia. Winters as far south as Mexico, N. Africa, and S.E. Asia.

• REMARK The farmyard duck, in its many different breeds, is the domestic form of the Mallard.

Female distriiiition green, while, and black wing patch (speculum)


• bird rising in steep, rapid flight blue and white wing

Family An,VI I dak

Species AnaSi

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