Female mallards at Cley Marshes by Oliver Riley Smith 1/10
Female mallard by Howard Stone 2/10
Female mallard by David Thacker 3/10
Mallards at Ranworth Broad by Barbara Clarke 4/10
Mallards at NWT Holme by Elizabeth Dack 5/10
Mallard drake at Hickling by Nick Goodrum 6/10
Mallard at Wroxham Broad by Peter Dent 7/10
Mallard by Nick Goodrum 8/10
Female mallard with ducklings by Steve Hawkeye 9/10
Mallard ducks by Neville Yardy 10/10

Mallard Anas platyrhynchos

The mallard is our commonest and most familiar duck. It can be seen on just about every body of fresh water in the county and in winter is not infrequently seen in saltmarshes and even on the sea. The species’ friendly nature and loud quacking and the male’s lustrous beauty make the mallard a great favourite with everyone.

Conservation status

Despite being very common and familiar, the mallard is on the amber list in the UK because its non-breeding population is in decline. It nonetheless remains a very common breeding and wintering bird in Norfolk.

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Did you know? Male and female mallards may be identified by their quacks. The male has a relatively quiet, breathy single quack while the female has a loud, raucous peal of quacks.

In late summer mallard, like several other ducks, moult their flight feathers. During this dangerous time of limited mobility males moult into eclipse plumage, which is very similar to well-camouflaged female plumage. They may be told, even in eclipse, by their yellow-green bills.
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