Mallard, Rakiraki

Anas platyrhynchos
Bird Songs

New Zealand status: Introduced

Conservation status: Introduced and Naturalised

Mallards are the common pond ducks found in parks and streams. 

In breeding season, drakes (male ducks) have a glossy dark green head and neck separated from the maroon breast by a thin white collar. The back and flanks are pale grey, and the rump and undertail blackish, with curled black upper tail coverts. The bill is yellowish, the eye dark, and legs and feet bright orange.

Females are dull brown with feathers edged with buff, and have an indistinct dark eye-stripe on an otherwise featureless face. The bill is brownish-grey and the legs and feet orange. The wing pattern and leg colour are the same as for males. Juveniles resemble females.

The plumage of New Zealand mallards is highly variable due to hybridisation with grey ducks, and also many domesticated mallard varieties that have escaped into the wild population.

Find out more about mallards

Adult male mallard. Credit: Oscar Thomas. Adult female mallard. Credit: Oscar Thomas.