Mallard – Anas platyrhynchos – also known as the Canard colvert (French), maillard (French), ainette (French), enette (French), Wilde Eend (Dutch), Stockente (German), Germano reale (Italian), Anade real (Spanish), Gräsand (Swedish), Kryakva (Russian).
I found this guy in a city park with about 50 other “traditional” mallards. At first I assumed he was not actually a mallard, but some other duck. Although, he has the head and bill of a mallard, and he appeared to be courting a female mallard, he has no neck line and he has a white breast and a rouge-ish body. Cornell to the rescue!
According to Cornell, “[t]he Mallard is the ancestor of nearly all domestic duck breeds (everything except the Muscovy Duck). Many of the domestic breeds look like the wild birds, but usually are larger. They are variable in plumage, often lacking the white neck ring or having white on the chest. Feral domestic ducks breed with wild Mallards and produce a variety of forms that often show up with wild ducks, especially in city parks.”
A little more searching and I figured out this guy is a domesticated mallard known as a “Pekin Duck.” Whether he was domesticated himself or is the offspring of a domestic and a wild mallard, I do not know. All I know is that this particular duck was wild.
To see a traditional mallard pair, click here.
Photo taken with the Canon Digital Rebel XT / 350D and a Sigma 70-300mm lens on October 14, 2007 at Vander Veer Park in Davenport, Iowa.