Latin name - Anas platyrhynchos
The Mallard is our commonest duck, the wildfowl that most people can recognise as it inhabits any suitable wetland including city parks, and ponds. They have a long body, a long, broad bill and orange-red legs. The sexes are different with the male having a dark green head with a metallic sheen, a purple-brown breast with a white ring around the neck, a grey body and a black tail with two curly black upper-tail feathers. The female is much duller, brown body, orange bill and plain buff head. Both sexes have purple wing patches known as speculums in ducks. The male loses much of his colour during moulting and can be mistaken for the female at this time - June to September. The young are similar in colouring to the female. Mallards feed on plants, insects, small shellfish, seeds and even frogs.