Mallard duck on a wall (c) Ken Bentley


Mallards are the archetypal and most recognisable ducks. They are found wherever there is water, from rivers and lakes to remote ponds and coastal marshes. It is their adaptablility to all kinds of environment that has brought mallards to towns and parks. The males sport a glossy green head and white neck ring, and what the females lack in colour they make up for in noise. The familiar 'quack' is the call of the female summoning her ducklings. Mallards are the ancestors of many breeds of domestic duck and readily interbreed with them.

Did you know?
The loud 'quack-quack' of a female duck can be heard for miles.

All you need to know about British birds.

Scientific name: Anas platyrhynchos

Rank: Species

Common names:

Wild duck

Watch video clips from past programmes (5 clips)

In order to see this content you need to have an up-to-date version of Flash installed and Javascript turned on.


Map showing the distribution of the Mallard taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Mallard can be found in a number of locations including: Africa, Asia, China, Europe, Indian subcontinent, Mediterranean, North America, United Kingdom, Wales, Ynys-hir nature reserve. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Mallard distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Year assessed: 2009

Classified by: IUCN 3.1


  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Birds
  5. Anseriformes
  6. Ducks, geese and swans
  7. Anas
  8. Mallard

BBC News about Mallard

Video collections

Take a trip through the natural world with our themed collections of video clips from the natural history archive.

  • Baby Animals Baby Animals

    With Ooh's and Ahh's galore this video clip collection celebrates a world of adorable animal babies.