photo by Phil Swanson

Anas platyrhynchos Anas platyrhynchos L 23″ (58 cm).

Song or calls:
Listen (NGPC audio)

Male: “rab-rab-rab.” Female: loud quack or “quack-wack-wack.” 

Description: Head green, neck has white collar. Breast is deep chestnut. Speculum purplish-blue with the front and back edged with black and white stripe. Tail white flanked with black, topped by curled tail feathers. Bill is yellow-green. Female has mottled brownish-buff body, dark crown, and eyestripe. Bill is orange.

Bird Map
Habitat: During the breeding season prefers shallow waters of marshes, oxbows, and ponds that provide surface and subsurface foraging. In migration utilizes large open marshes, lakes or reservoirs with grain fields nearby.

Where in Nebraska: Abundant regular spring and fall migrant across the entire state. A common regular breeder statewide and a common, locally abundant, regular winter visitor throughout the state.

Nebraska Seasons: Late spring, summer and early fall are all good times to find Mallards in wetlands, along slow moving streams, in potholes, and in shallow marshes.

Field Notes: Most widespread species of duck throughout the Northern Hemisphere.

Fun Facts: The Mallard is the ancestor of all domestic ducks in the world, except for the Muscovy Duck which does not live in Nebraska.

female Mallard - photo by Phil Swanson Mallard - NEBRASKAland Magazine/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
(click image for larger view)