|Scientific name:||Anas platyrhynchos|
Resident, winter migrant from Iceland, Fennoscandia, Russia, Poland, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium & France. Additional captive-bred birds are released each year for hunting.
Among the largest of our ducks (with the exception of Shelduck). Males with striking green head, yellow bill, white ring around the necj, grey underparts, blue speculum, black rump. Females brown in colour, but with blue speculum, dark stripe across the eye and whitish tail sides.
Male with nasal 'rheab', repeated when alert on water, and short whistle during courtship. Loud quacking of females.
Diet highly variable, and plant material, particularly seeds predominate. A range of animal material is also taken, including molluscs and crustaceans. Other food taken includes grain and stubble, and they have been shown to feed on a variety of food items presented by humans.
Nest sites vary, mostly in ground where hidden in vegetation.
Mallard are the most widespread species, although not quite as numerous as Wigeon or Teal. They occur in almost all available wetland habitats in Ireland.
Irish Wetland Bird Survey
Common throughout Ireland.
Loughs Neagh & Beg in County Antrim, Wexford Harbour & Slobs in County Wexford, Lough Foyle in County Derry, Strangford Lough in County Down and Lough Swilly in County Donegal are among the top wintering sites (1,000-5,500 birds).