Mallard

Mallards, often called greenheads for the male’s dark iridescent green head, are the most widespread duck in North America. Males have a bright yellow bill and orange legs. Their bodies are gray between the green head and black rump. Females and juveniles have dulled dirty orange-colored bills and their bodies are mottled brown.
SCIENTIFIC NAME
Anas platyrhynchos
CLASSIFICATION
Bird
LIFE SPAN
5-10 Years
SIZE
19.7-25.6 ” | 2.2-3 lbs
STATE CONSERVATION STATUS
  • State Protected
FEDERAL CONSERVATION STATUS
Least Concern
GAME STATUS
Game
GAME TYPE
Waterfowl
  1. Washoe
  2. Humboldt
  3. Pershing
  4. Churchill
  5. Mineral
  6. Lyon
  7. Douglas
  8. Carson City
  9. Storey
  1. Elko
  2. Lander
  3. Eureka
  4. White Pine
  1. Esmeralda
  2. Nye
  3. Lincoln
  4. Clark

Habitat & Range

Mallards are not picky about their wetland habitats and can be found on ponds, rivers, streams, urban ponds, lakes, and marshes. The are found throughout Nevada.

  • Lakes and reservoirs
  • Marsh
  • Rivers and streams

Threats

  • Drought
  • Habitat Loss
  • Water Diversion

Natural History

Female Mallards are responsible for nest building and rearing young. They build their nests on the ground near water. Females will lay between nine and thirteen eggs. After hatching the ducklings are mobile and can feed themselves, however, the female is important in helping them locate food.
Mallards are not picky when it comes to their diet. They are omnivores and consume both plant materials and invertebrates. Various aquatic vegetation, worms, insects, spiders, snails, and even human food will round out a Mallard’s diet.

Fun Facts

Mallards can fly 55 miles per hour when migrating, but with a tailwind may be much faster. A jet plane flying over Nevada in 1962 struck a Mallard at 21,000 feet. The highest recorded duck strike in aviation history.