Mallard (male)

Mallard    Anas platyrhynchos


  • Anas : Latin word for Duck
  • Platyrhynchos : Greek word platus – broad,wide; rhunkhos – bill { Wide Billed}

Vernacular names: Sind: Niragi, Hiragi(M), Niragiani (F), Hindi: Nilsir, Nir rugi, Sans: Neelgriv hansak, Kash: M: Neluj, F: Thuj, Pun: Nilsir, Mirshikars: Lilgeh, Ben: Nilsar, Ass: Amrolia hanh, Bonaria pati hanh, Nepal: Lilg(M), Lilgahi(F), Guj: Neelsir, Nilshir, Kutch: But, Raje, Mar: Chaturang badak

Distribution in India: Wide spread in India.

Description: Size of 40-42 cm. Breeding male has a grey body, brown breast, black above and below tail, iridescent dark green head, white collar, predominantly whitish-grey tail with black central rectrices, grey-brown wings with darker flight feathers and cream-coloured underwing-coverts; bill yellow, legs and feet orange, and eyes brown. Blue speculum diagnostic in all plumages. Male has eclipse plumage similar to adult female, but has blacker crown, darker upperparts and breast, lack of spotting and paler, unspotted, yellow bill. Females very variable, but generally mottled pale brown to buff, with dark-streaked crown, paler Supercilium, dark eye stripe, brown wings, bill brown with variable black spotting, dull orange legs and fee.

Habitat: It is found in wetland, large or small, seasonal or permanent, in fresh, brackish or salt waters, provided they are relatively shallow and provide some cover, preferably with submerged, floating, emergent and riparian vegetation, including flooded swampy woodland.

Food Habits:It is omnivorous and opportunistic, readily taken advantage of human handouts, bread, etc. Seeds and vegetative parts of aquatic and crop plants and, in spring and summer, variable amounts of terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates, such as insects, molluscs, crustaceans and worms; occasionally crabs, amphibians and fish and has also been observed feeding on faeces of other birds. It feeds in groups by dabbling ,sieving water through bill, head-dipping and upending in shallow waters; also grazes on land, grubbing at base of plants and biting off chunks from larger food items, and occasionally dives.

Breeding Habits: They breed from Mar – June in North West India. The female is Philopatric meaning prefers to use same nesting site as earlier. The nest is bowl of grass lined with feathers and down, sited on ground, usually close to water and concealed among vegetation or in natural cavity, even on buildings and in old nests of other species. Single-brooded, but female may attempt up to five different replacement clutches with same or different mate, sometimes with just four days between attempts, with propensity to renest much higher if first failed attempt is early in season. Lays a clutch of 9–13 eggs . The eggs laid at one-day interval. The incubation period is. 26–28 days by female alone; are hatched precocial and are tended by both parents till fledging that takes 50–60 days from hatching. Young sometimes escorted comparatively long distances to brood-rearing territories.